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21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Written by: Yuval Noah Harari
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (530 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 49.13
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Publisher's Summary

Number One New York Times Best Seller

In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues.

"Fascinating...a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century." (Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review)

Named one of the best books of the year by Financial Times and Pamela Paul, KQED.  

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In 21 accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential listening.

"If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari...tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'" (BookPage, top pick)

©2018 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2018 Signal

What the critics say

“Truly mind-expanding...Ultra-topical...Harari’s big selling point [is] the ambition and breadth of his work, smashing together unexpected ideas into dazzling observations.” (The Guardian)

“This well-informed and searching book is one to be savored and widely discussed.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

“Erudite, illuminating, vivid. [Harari’s] lessons suggest new ways of thinking about current problems...a splendid, sobering, stirring call to arms.” (Sunday Times)
 

What members say

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Harari’s Books are a delight

If you have been following Yuval Noah Harari’s work, you will not be disappointed. He still delivers the same experience, knowledge and insight.

If you are new to his work, I recommend this to read first and then go to Sapiens and Homo Deus.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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dreadful ramble with no useful solutions

Harari's book is a labyrinth of arguments and counter arguments drowning in the web of 1st world biotechinfoteck mumbo jumbo. The planet earth is a very big place, with vibrant cultures not hooked to shallow narcissistic social media. People eat, dance, celebrate festivals together...and live without Zuckerberg's ether community. Nor are they looking to algirythms to help them make decisions. Written by someone who spends his life inside first world tech cocoons. Harari, it seems, has fallen victim to his own concepts and algorythms and writes from inside his silo, a dark and very narrow place. Suffocating book.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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having a hard time buying these arguments

I imagine these were entertaining speculations in a grad seminar, but as a uniform thesis about the state of the world and our future direction, this book just seems weak and uninspiring/uninspired. I found the prognostications to be unconvincing, incomplete and selective. Had much higher expectations.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Eloquent & insightful, yet lacking in direction

I respect Harari's work a lot. He's triggering conversations we should all be having.

To me, it felt like these 21 lessons were more insights than actual, actionable lessons. Some chapters showed more direction than others though, which is what I was expecting to find coming into this book. The chapter on terrorism, for instance, really struck a chord with me.

Overall, Harari strongly and rightly criticises our current "story" (liberalism/humanism), yet doesn't quite offer a cohesive, compelling alternative.

Maybe he wants us to make our own decisions as to where to go next? I'm not sure.

Most of the insights in there could have been extracted from Harari's two previous books with relative ease. It doesn't mean there isn't value in rehashing and reformatting them, just that novelty isn't fully on the menu.

If you're not familiar with Harari's work, I think you'll enjoy this book even more. It's a solid entry point into his meta, long-term view of the human race.

In any case, it is definitely worth your time and thoughts! 🙇

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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21?

I'm not sure where the 21 lessons are. I'm several chapters in, and the book is really about AI and jobs for the most part. The author seems to speak to the same ideas over and over again coming back to artificial intelligence, big data and biotech.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book.

#Audible1
I have finished first two chapters and will update with more detail review. I am fasinated by how he exaplain the theories. cant wait to finish the book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A deep insight needed for our modern time

I listened to the whole book in about 2 weeks while coming in and out of work. Following Sapiens, the author delivers a meaningful message to our present day tribe. I recommend its read to anyone who searches for an overview of the changes coming for our specie.

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Thanks.

The world would be an unbelievably better place if everyone read this. I hope the algorithms bring this to your attention, whether they be biological ones, or googley ones.

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Everyone looking for answers needs to read this.

Harari dives into humanity and guides us through the history, issues and questions any introspective person faces at some point in thier life. I enjoyed every chapter and have gained a different perspective on the world I live in from this book.

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Read this book

This book we’ll help you live your life it will help you understand everything as long as you understand that it is all or nothing

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  • PDubya
  • 2018-12-16

Eye-opening Listen

At first, I was ready to return this book...then I gave it a chance and was solidly hooked. The premises that are proposed Harari are all around us - he presents the "what ifs" and the "think about that" that make you look at everything in a new way. What is revealed is that we live in a complicated and at times scary world. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • BryinSiam
  • 2018-10-11

Meandering

Doesn't hold a candle to his two previous books. Derivative. Better to read Prefiction Machines and other analyses of our day. Even Stephen Harper s book Right Here and Now

1 of 2 people found this review helpful