Why our Staff Love 21 Lessons for the 21st Century:
Sometimes it seems that the 21st century is throwing challenges at humanity much faster than we can deal with them. From climate change and the rise of artificial intelligence to rising inequality and the stumbling of democracy, it is all too tempting to approach the future with trepidation or even to look away entirely. Yuval Noah Harari, stepping in with an aptly-titled new book called 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, gives us some very good reasons not to do this. Instead, he advises us not to panic but rather to see the opportunities in front us and grab them before it all goes horribly wrong.
A self-described realist and award-winning historian, Harari is the author of the bestselling books Sapiens and Homo Deus. In 21 Questions for the 21st Century he hones in on those issues that require our immediate attention, then canvasses possible solutions.
The beauty of Harari’s work is that he brings the assured guidance of a companion who knows our short history, and is able to see the bigger picture of our progress within evolutionary psychology terms. We have a history of decision-making that gives us short-term gains but long-reaching consequences, he says, so we must be far more careful in the choices we make. The stakes have never been higher and this book is a much-needed clarion call.
For all of its urgency, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is not a manifesto - far from it. Harari is simply describing what he sees and enthusing over various achievable fixes. The result is a rewarding and timely book from a compelling speaker, a humanist who sees the value in compassion and interconnection. Masterfully infused with historical anecdotes and research you’re sure to have missed, 21 Lessons will set you up for that next dinner-table argument.
It is engaging, smart and very timely.
What do we really need to know in today’s world?
In twenty-one bite-sized lessons, Yuval Noah Harari explores what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus looked to the future. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century explores the present.
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today’s most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?