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on 13 December 2017
This could have been a consistently engaging read because it's written in clear, simple language and certainly contends with grand ideas but the gaps in data and analyses left my curiosity stranded and re-purposed to poking holes in the arguments for the most part instead of propelling it.


My evaluation of the book downgraded from 3 at the beginning to 2 stars by the end because there were some chapters in the 3rd and 4th parts that just put me off his style of research and writing-chapters 11, 15 and 16. Couldn't put my opinion on chapter 17 and 18 in perspective after that and didn't particularly care for or agree with Chapter 19. The last chapter was made interesting by the sheer subject matter more than anything in the writing. This is around half the book.

I do like some of his ideas which, without commenting on originality, at least imply analytical rigour, like the fate of animals stuck on our indifferent conveyor belts which even the most passionate postcolonial thinkers seemingly fail to question, or the dangers of historical determinism in determining our future course/s.

These ideas however, are couched in between claims and conclusive jumps that don't seem to be launched from solid theoretical platforms or even if they are, I'm left contemplating their plausibility because he does not do a good job of referencing enough literature or providing these additional details in the text himself. For e.g., his flights from the bankruptcy of the Mississippi Company in 1719 to the French Revolution in 1789 as the eventual outcome without referencing one little American Revolution the way we are classically taught...History pruned and painted in the service of a punchline. This affects the way I interpret other anecdotes which the book is peppered with even when these have a stronger correlation, and more importantly, causality-which for all his caution on determinism, Hariri sometimes conflates. We can correlate the rise of science and Empire but can we effectively claim that the imperial project was undergirded by western scientific rigour, without which it would have been difficult to sustain?

In other cases, the ideas are too simplistic to really enthuse a reader with a basic orientation to world events, like his exposition on capitalism-wasn't it just Capital to think of such a revolutionary idea, and we'll get to the discussion on market failures later in a tiny, adjunct way.
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on 10 December 2017
Had heard of this book but got round to reading it just over the last few weeks. There are some books that you look forward to reading at the end of the day, which you want to devour in one sitting but then also want to last forever. This is one such book. Have yet to see a book that sweeps in so much history, prehistory, science and all facets of human endeavour in so lucid and fascinating a manner. The questions at the end of the book lead up no doubt to the next book Deus and now look forward to that. Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a rational discourse on human development. Five stars not enough!
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on 21 September 2017
Still reading but the book is so gripping and deep that you want to keep reading. The author is a master Craftsman and storyteller, so beautifully expresses his thoughts all through. Must read for all those who want to look deeper into our existence
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on 2 November 2017
Paper and print quality of the book is very good.
Book is very good to read as commented by other reviewers.Narration is like listening to a good lecture.Illustrations and photos are there. Every sapiens reading this book may revise their opinion on religion and myths.
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on 6 December 2017
A lucid narrative of human's journey in this planet starting from the inception of human civilization to this modernized high-tech society. It depicts the how Sapiens outsmart other species to become the leader of the world in every sense explaining how cognitive awakening makes superior to other species. How human intentionally changes its society through not merely inventing technologies but also keeping open mind to harbinger social reform.
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on 17 November 2017
A very detailed account of the evolution of us. Provides thought provoking insights into the events and values that have brought us from insignificant animals, to irresponsible gods. I say this book must be made school text and read by every human being
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on 8 June 2017
Amazing interpretations and arguments can be witnessed in the book. Especially the inferences the author takes during primitive era. Once civilizations kick in, the book is more descriptive and because this era is something we can relate to however little, the awe factor goes.
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on 8 January 2017
Very informative, insightful and thought provoking book. It covers wide variety of subjects on the way - history, religions, economics. Anyone curious to know why we are the way we are and why our world is the way it is, will love reading this.
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on 17 February 2017
This is one of the best popular science books I have read. It read more like a past paced novel, rather that a science book. Although I do not agree with few points in the books but overall amazing read.
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on 13 August 2017
A rare kind of book with fine blend of objective and subjective reality of our history and a look into possibilities of future which are hard to deny and at times seems a matter of time. It certainly changes the way one looks at oneself and more than that, how we think of ourselves going forward into the unknown world which was so familiar till yesterday.
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