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Humankind

Written by: Rutger Bregman, Erica Moore, Elizabeth Manton
Narrated by: Rutger Bregman, Thomas Judd
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Publisher's Summary

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The “lively” (The New Yorker), “convincing” (Forbes), and “riveting pick-me-up we all need right now” (People) that proves humanity thrives in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success as a species.

If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.

But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens.

From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic—it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.

"The Sapiens of 2020."—The Guardian

"Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective."—Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens

Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Works in 2020

©2020 Rutger Bregman (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

What the critics say

"Rutger Bregman is one of the most provocative thinkers of our time... This book demolishes the cynical view that humans are inherently nasty and selfish, and paints a portrait of human nature that's not only more uplifting—it's also more accurate... by taking us on a guided tour of the past, he reveals how we can build a world with more givers than takers in the future."—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

"I greatly enjoyed reading Humankind. It made me see humanity from a fresh perspective and challenged me to rethink many long-held beliefs. I warmly recommend it to others, and I trust it will stir a lot of fruitful discussions."—Yuval Noah Harari, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sapiens and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

"Some books challenge our ideas. But Humankind challenges the very premises on which those ideas are based. Its bold, sweeping argument will make you rethink what you believe about society, democracy, and human nature itself. In a sea of cynicism, this book is the sturdy, unsinkable lifeboat the world needs."—Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When and A Whole New Mind

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What listeners say about Humankind

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Great book, truly eye opening.

I really enjoyed this book, and the way Rutger Bregman uses research and history to make his points. Very enlightening read.

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truth

a much needed truth of human history and how we humans really behave. the author does an excellent job of relating and proving his points.
the narration is also excellently performed; as if the author himself was reading it to you. a must read for every human.

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  • Lex
  • 2023-04-02

Please read this book.

I'm not usually a fan of "this is your sign" posts, but if you're reading this review, please take this as your sign to read this book. I would recommend this book to everyone everywhere. You will walk away feeling validated and, as the title says, hopeful.

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Thoughtful and Intriguing

i thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is full of thoughtful analysis and insights. Well worth the listen.

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Transformational

I will never look at people the same again. All the false narratives that have been created over the years to make us doubt and distrust other humans have been destroyed. Yes we aren’t perfect but we are all inherently good. We just need to believe it and act upon it. I’m going to do better. Thank you.

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Great information!

Should be required reading/listening for all of humankind. What a difference it would make.

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A deep endeavor toward the roots of a key prejudice we have on our own nature ! A life changing book !

His intellectual rigour and the candor the author demonstrate in this search for our real nature is refreshing. You finish this book and feel you can make the world around you better

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  • Amy
  • 2020-07-14

Must read

I would buy this book for every single person I know. It is well researched and presented. I have always generally felt that the world is full of good people and people are generally good.

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Just Amazing!!!

Best society book ever! If you are tired of failing your family, team and or company, please read this book and stop the nonsense.

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Humankind

The most impacting book I have ever read.
‘SAPIENS’ but with a heart!!
Realistic, well researched and well written!!

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