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Humankind

By: Rutger Bregman
Narrated by: Thomas Judd,Rutger Bregman
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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Humankind by Rutger Bregman, read by Rutger Bregman and Thomas Judd.

The Sunday Times best seller.

A Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times summer listen.

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 best-selling 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.

©2020 Rutger Bregman (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

 

"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)

What listeners say about Humankind

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Kindness is Proven and Affirmed

This book provided an evidence based explanation that we are ‘wired’ to be kind, friendly, helpful, caring and nice. All my life I’ve been labeled innocent and naive because of the trust I have for human goodness, this book affirms that my love and faith in all mankind actually puts me and all others like me at the top of the evolutionary tree.
Here’s to a kind and hopeful future!

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Disappointed

I was hopeful but was disappointed by the lack of rigour that was applied to the research for this book. Some of the writers that the author references, such as Steven Pinker, Harari (Sapiens) and Taleb (Black Swan) all demonstrate far greater attention to the full range of arguments before reaching a conclusion. Bregman’s one-sided, selective use of stories had no sense of scientific endeavour. While selective research can be offset by brilliant writing, say Malcolm Gladwell (another author frequently cited by Bregman), Bregman’s gift as a writer doesn’t allow him to pull that off.
One example is his overly simplistic and poorly suited ‘example of communism’ being a family member passing the salt at the dinner table. The fact that no cash changes hands is supposed to equate to communism somehow being a viable political and economic system.
I found myself shaking my head in disagreement during most chapters. I persisted through to the end simply to ensure that it didn’t suddenly improve towards the end, with this review in mind. It didn’t.

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A. Must Read

This is a highly readable (and listenable) book. It rings true to me and I urge anyone and everyone to read...or listen t it.

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Insightful

Loved it, learnt alot. I found the positive perspective on humanity refreshing and the research to support it enlightening.

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  • 20-09-2020

All the world should read this!

Another revealing book by Rutger. Our world does not have to be the way it is. I hope this will inspire others to change. I know it has already changed me.

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excellent

The world would be a better place if we are all aware if these insights. imagine what could be achieved.

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Refreshing view of humanity that feels right

I absolutely loved this book. Everything just made sense and I leave it with a more positive outlook on my life and the world around me. Thank goodness for this book, its what the world needs.

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Good points, poorly made

Book was very uncompelling. Author had a lot of content to work with but used very strange examples to try to overthrow conventional thinking - we're communist by nature because we leave Air BnB reviews, really??? I took a lot out of the book but it could have been so much better.

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Excellent

A wonderful hopeful history that is both thoughtful and practical. A must read for anyone who cares about the world and our place in it.

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Life changing

I absolutely loved the concept that at our heart we are all good. An amazing amount of research has gone into this book to prove that kindness is the best way for everyone 🙏

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