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From the author of the New York Times bestseller Utopia for Realists, a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink), "provocative" (Adam Grant) argument that our innate goodness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in humanity's success.
"I greatly enjoyed reading Humankind, a challenging book which made me see humanity from a fresh perspective. I warmly recommend it to others, and I trust it will stir a lot of fruitful discussions." —Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens
THE #1 DUTCH BESTSELLER
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? By providing a new historical perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history, internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman sets out to prove that we are in fact hard-wired 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.
This understanding, Bregman suggests, 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.
"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
"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
"I greatly enjoyed reading Humankind, a challenging book which made me see humanity from a fresh perspective. 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
"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
"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)