Humankind: A Hopeful History

Rutger Bregman (Author) Elizabeth Manton (Translator)
& 1 more
Available

Description

"The Sapiens of 2020." ---The Guardian
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Utopia for Realists comes the "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) #1 Dutch bestseller Humankind, which offers a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink), "provocative" (Adam Grant) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet.
"Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." ---Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens

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.

Product Details

Price
$30.00  $27.00
Publisher
Little Brown and Company
Publish Date
June 02, 2020
Pages
480
Dimensions
6.2 X 1.5 X 9.5 inches | 1.5 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
ISBN/EAN
9780316418539

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About the Author

Rutger Bregman, a historian and writer at The Correspondent, is one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers. His last book, Utopia for Realists, which was translated into thirty-two languages, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Holland.

Reviews

"Humankind is an in-depth overview of what is wrong with the idea is that we humans are by nature bad and unreliable. In vivid descriptions and stories, Rutger Bregman takes us back to the questionable experiments that fed this idea and offers us a more optimistic view of mankind."--Frans de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? and Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves
"Compelling... Humankind is an amazing book--thoughtful, engaging, optimistic, and true... It shows us how much where we start our thinking about human nature influences where we finish, even when where we start is dead wrong. Put aside your newspaper for a little while and read this book."--Barry Schwartz, author of the national bestseller The Paradox of Choice
"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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny and Bloodlands
"Beautifully written, well documented, myth-busting... Bregman brings psychological research and history together to present a remarkably positive, realistic view of the human animal. We are much better, much kinder, than most of us think we are, and when we realize that we become better yet... [It's] now number one on my list of what everyone should read. Read it and buy copies for all of your most cynical friends."--Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn: Why Releasing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
"This stunning book will change how you see the world and your fellow humans. Humankind is mind-expanding and, more important, heart-expanding. We have never needed its message more than now."--Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Lost Connections and Chasing the Scream
"I know of no more powerful or carefully documented rejoinder to Machiavelli's observation that 'men never do anything good except out of necessity' than Rutger Bregman's book. His reassessment of human nature is as faithful to the actual evidence as it is uplifting."--Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, one of Discover Magazine's 50 Most Important Women in Science and author of Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding
"Bregman's previous work made a strong case for utopian policies like universal basic income. Humankind provides the philosophical and historical backbone to give us the confidence that such bold policies---underpinned by cooperation, not competition---are the right kinds of policies. Why? Because people are inherently good and altruistic. Understanding this fundamental point creates the spirit and the tools to collaborate, be kind, and trust each other to create a better society. The positive and uplifting message in Humankind is essential if we are ever going to create a better form of capitalism where the many, not the few, can flourish."--Mariana Mazzucato, author of The Entrepreneurial State and member of the U.N. Committee for Development Policy
"Rutger Bregman's new book, Humankind, has made me feel optimism in a time of pessimism. It's an exceptional read. Humans are good."--Matt Haig, author of the international bestseller Reasons to Stay Alive
"Rutger Bregman is one of my favorite thinkers. His latest book challenges our basic assumptions about human nature in a way that opens up a world of new possibilities. Humankind is simple, perceptive and powerful in the way that the best books and arguments are."--Andrew Yang, former US Presidential candidate and New York Times bestselling author of The War on Normal People
"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
"An extraordinarily powerful declaration of faith in the innate goodness and natural decency of human beings. 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, author of Mythos and The Ode Less Travelled
"The topic is vital, the sweep immense, and the storytelling is spellbinding. This is a fabulous book."--Tim Harford, author of the international bestseller The Undercover Economist
"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
"Rutger Bregman has written another great book. He looks at some off the famous sociological experiments of the twentieth century-those that claimed to show humans as self-interested, cowardly, and morally fickle-and discovers that they were engineered to produce exactly those results. There was a lot of prejudice and ideological manipulation going on to get us to think so badly of ourselves. 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.' 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
"Cynicism is a theory of everything, but, as Rutger Bregman brilliantly shows, an elective one---so totalizing it clouds our picture of human life and constricts our capacity to imagine, and enact, better futures. This necessary book widens that aperture of possibility, and radically."--David Wallace-Wells, New York Times bestselling author of The Uninhabitable Earth
"Fascinating... Convincing... After cogently laying out the problem, Bregman turns to solutions... He describes businesses without bosses, schools in which teachers assume that students want to learn, and local governments in which citizens exert genuine power wisely... A powerful argument in favor of human virtue."--Kirkus (starred review)
"Rutger Bregman's extraordinary new book is a revelation. Although Humankind is masterful in its grasp of history, both ancient and modern, the real achievement is Bregman's application of history to a new understanding of human nature. Humankind changes the conversation and lights the path to a brighter future. We need it now more than ever."--Susan Cain, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Quiet
"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
"Bregman puts a positive spin on human behavior in this intriguing survey of politics, literature, psychology, sociology, and philosophy. To prove his hypothesis that humankind is basically good, he reevaluates some of the most entrenched cultural narratives suggesting otherwise... This intelligent and reassuring chronicle disproves much received wisdom about the dark side of human nature. Readers looking for solace in uncertain times will find it here."--Publishers Weekly