Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Synthesis. I was only a few dozen pages into reading Yuval Harari’s book titled, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, when my mind drifted back four decades to think about two of my university professors. Harari is a historian and he examines human evolution in this book from the perspective of both history and biology. His synthesis in this book organizes his view of homo sapiens and he presents that view with vivid prose that should engage all general readers. I had a makeup midterm exam in freshman biology with Dr. Unzicker. She asked me to tell her a story, using this as her prompt: “There was oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen. Tell me what happened.” What followed was an engaging conversation between us about evolution, the topic of the mid-term. Dr. Spaulding began his two semester survey course, The History of Western Civilization, with remarks along these lines: “Pay close attention because every word I say is pregnant with meaning. During each class we may cover hundreds or even thousands of years of history. I update my notes for this class every day when I read the work of scholars. This course will introduce you to the study of history. It’s up to you to keep current on understanding what we humans learn about our past.” Thanks to reading Harari, I am doing just that, and I expect Dr. Spaulding would be pleased. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Sapiens from

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