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How human history has shaped us?

by Neeraj Tyagi Share via -

Written by Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli History Professor, Sapiens covers the length, breadth and depth of human history. The book weaves together four parts – from the cognitive to the agricultural revolution, and from the unification of humankind to the scientific revolution.

The first two parts of the book cover the period of 100,000 years ago, when six human species inhabited the earth, to today when there is just one, you and me – Homo sapiens. How did this happen? On the one hand, fire gave us power and on the other, camaraderie and gossip helped us cooperate. Among many intriguing facts Harari explains how agriculture made us hungry (compared to our hunter-forager forebears) and led to the development of elites able to live off the work and sweat of farmers and slaves, thereby enjoying the time to invent stuctures, build monuments, and amass armies to bolster their power – and especially to invent the mythologies that bind millions of people in common beliefs.

The last two parts of Sapiens reveal how mythology helped maintain law and order. Did money give us something we can trust, and did contradictions shape culture? What made us believe in gods, nations and human rights? Sapiens provides insights on everything we know and intend knowing about. The book’s explanations of the many historic myths that have shaped us are applicable even today and are especially appropriate in the design and delivery of coaching in an organisation, of any size, in any part of the world.

Harari’s precise explanations about the essence of human life and how humans have created the world through the power of imagination and myths, make this book a not-to-be-missed read. Learning from this powerful book can be implemented in real-life situations where individuals are aspiring to live their best lives.

Picking up Sapiens as the first book to read this year significantly changed my perspective as a human being and as a coach. Simple yet impactful, this book is a treasure full of hidden, historic secrets that leave a reader in awe of the miracle of being a human. I highly recommend it to every reader who is intrigued by the correlation between history and human evolution. If you have ever been excited about knowing how history has played a role to get to where we are today, this ought to be your next read. 

ABOUT THE REVIEWER Neeraj Tyagi is an executive coach and co-founder of Greenlatte, based in Mumbai, India. She works with organisations helping them build leadership pipelines, and with individuals to live their best lives. She is editor of Professionals, an e-magazine committed to helping individuals to be more creative, energetic and collaborative. Neeraj has over fourteen years of corporate experience across the banking, technology & financial sectors.

This book review by Neeraj was originally published by AC Magazine April 2016 Edition

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