THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Guardian, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and Daily Express Book of the Year
‘Hugely, highly and happily recommended’
‘You should read Humankind. You’ll learn a lot (I did) and you’ll have good reason to feel better about the human race’
‘The book we need right now’
‘Made me see humanity from a fresh perspective’
Yuval Noah Harari
It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest.
Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too.
In this major book, internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world’s most famous studies and events and reframes them, providing a new perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the Blitz, a Siberian fox farm to an infamous New York murder, Stanley Milgram’s Yale shock machine to the Stanford prison experiment, Bregman shows how believing in human kindness and altruism can be a new way to think – and act as the foundation for achieving true change in our society.
It is time for a new view of human nature.
Never dewy-eyed, wistful or naive, Rutger Bregman makes a wholly robust and convincing case for believing – despite so much apparent evidence to the contrary – that we are not the savage, irredeemably greedy, violent and rapacious species we can be led into thinking ourselves to be. Hugely, highly and happily recommended — Stephen Fry Rutger Bregman’s extraordinary new book is a revelation . . . Humankind is masterful in its grasp of history, both ancient and modern — Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet’ Cynicism is a theory of everything, but, as Rutger Bregman brilliantly shows, an elective one. This necessary book widens the aperture of possibility for a better future, and radically — David Wallace-Wells, author of ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ This is a wonderful and uplifting book. I not only want all my friends and relations to read it, but everyone else as well. It is an essential part of the campaign for a better world — Richard Wilkinson, author of ‘The Spirit Level’ Rutger Bregman is out on his own, thinking for himself, using history to give the rest of us a chance to build a much better future than we can presently imagine — Timothy Snyder, Holocaust historian and author of ‘On Tyranny’ A devastating demolition of the misanthrope’s mantra. A beacon of hope for a frighted world — Professor Danny Dorling, author of ‘Inequality and the 1%’ Humankind provides the philosophical and historical backbone to give us the confidence to collaborate, be kind and trust each other to create a better society — Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in Economics at UCL and author of ‘The Value of Everything’ A fantastic read . . . Good fun, fresh and a page-turner — James Rebanks, author of ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ This book must be read by as many people as possible – only when people change their view of human nature will they begin to believe in the possibility of building a better world — Grace Blakeley Every revolution in human affairs – and we’re in one right now – comes in tandem with a new understanding of what we mean by the word “human”. Rutger Bregman has succeeded in reawakening that conversation by articulating a kinder view of humanity (with better science behind it). This book gives us some real hope for the future — Brian Eno
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