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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - 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 twenty-one 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 of readers. 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 reading.
"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)
- ISBN-13: 9780525512172
- ISBN-10: 0525512179
- Publisher: Random House
- Publish Date: September 2018
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Page Count: 400
What is there to learn?
BookPage Top Pick in Nonfiction, September 2018
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, author of the critically praised Sapiens and Homo Deus, 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?”
For all the breadth of his concerns, Harari is able to distill the most pressing challenges facing our world down to three: nuclear war, ecological collapse and technological disruption, all of which together “add up to an unprecedented existential crisis.” He explains, for example, how this century will see the development of evermore sophisticated algorithms that will alter everything from the way we work (or don’t, in complex future economies that won’t require many people’s labor) to the way we organize and conduct our political lives.
These trends will unfold in a world that clings to what are, in Harari’s opinion, already outdated notions of nationalism and religious belief, which will inevitably create tension and conflict. But Harari doesn’t ignore our current controversies. His concise essays on terrorism and immigration are examples of the fresh thinking he brings to any subject.
Harari makes a passionate argument for reshaping our educational systems and replacing our current emphasis on quickly outdated substantive knowledge with the “four Cs”—critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. In the book’s final piece, Harari argues that the practice of meditation, something he does for two hours daily, offers a productive tool for understanding the human mind. Meditator or not, thoughtful readers will find 21 Lessons for the 21st Century to be a mind-expanding experience.
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.