|HISTORY / Civilization
|HISTORY / World
|SCIENCE / General
|SCIENCE / History
|SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Social Theory
|Little, Brown and Company
|8.25in x 5.50in
|From The Publisher*
|From New York Times bestselling author of Utopia for Realists comes a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink) and "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) 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.
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.
Instant New York Times Bestseller. "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
|"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
|"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
|"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
|"A lively social history... Bregman offers a compelling case for reshaping institutions and policies along genuinely humane lines."-The New Yorker
|"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
|"As Bregman shows very convincingly in this book, we are not the selfish species we think we are and civilization is not a thin layer of veneer that will crack as soon as put to the test… The main message: it is time for a new realism based on believing the fact that humans are good."-Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, Forbes
|"Bregman's argument is simple but radical: Most people are good, and we do ourselves a disservice by thinking the worst of others. Bregman argues that believing in human kindness is a foundation for lasting social change."-Barbara VanDenburgh, USA Today
|"Bregman puts together a compelling argument that society has been built on a false premise... He has a Gladwellian gift for sifting through academic reports and finding anecdotal jewels... Bregman never loses sight of his central thesis, that at root humans are 'friendly, peaceful, and healthy'... There's a great deal of reassuring human decency to be taken from this bold and thought-provoking book and a wealth of evidence in support of the contention that the sense of who we are as a species has been deleteriously distorted... It makes a welcome change to read such a sustained and enjoyable tribute to our better natures."-Andrew Anthony, The Guardian
|"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