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Humankind

A Hopeful History
Narrated by: Thomas Judd, Rutger Bregman
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

 

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

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 audiobook, international 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 cooperation seen in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford Prison Experiment to the true story of the Kitty Genovese murder, 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.

A Guardian Book to Look Out For in 2020.

©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)

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Essential reading/listening

Thank you Rutger Bregman you have restored my faith in all that is good in our society and us humans. I feel this book will become a clarion call to all of us that need a reminder of our humanity and compassion for each other.

Also need to praise Thomas Judd for another excellent narration job. It really helps to have great narrators for such seminal works.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-05-2020

Really surprised

First time I've listened to a thing by Bregman, but loves this book. In a time where it feels like the whole world is on fire, this book feels like a beacon of light to aim towards. Would happily recommend to anyone who wants a break from the norm of "humans are the worst thing that's ever happened to planet earth", it is refreshingly positive.

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  • Laura Hawkins
  • 27-05-2020

Every human should read this

It confirmed what I knew in my heart to be true but had had covered by a lifetime of bombardment from establishment thinking. Every human should read this.

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  • papapownall
  • 25-05-2020

Humankind is kind of kind

I enjoyed Rutger Bregman's previous book Utopia for Realists and ordered this as soon as it came out. The premise of Human kind is to debunk the Richard Dawkin's Selfish Gene and "homo puppy" thrives by survival of the kindest not the the most selfish.

Mr Bregman provides plenty of evidence to back up these claims and cites examples such as Britain becoming stronger as a result of the blitz during WW2 rather than their spirit becoming broken and soldiers not actually wanting to kill the enemy and deliberately firing too high as "the further from the front line the greater the hatred" rings true. The famous psychological experiments of the mid 20th century that are used to propagate the myth that people have an evil tendency such as Milgram's electric shocks and Stanfords' Chilean prison guard studies are reassessed and it is concluded that they would not stand up to modern scientific scrutiny.

The book naturally questions how some of the atrocities of history could have been conducted. It is a well known fact the pschopaths do not blush and whilst much of the blame is placed on hierarchical structures that starts with bullying culture in public schools, there is also a tendency for close personal friendships to be sufficiently strong to ensure that groups act for each other rather than their ultimate masters. The Christmas ceasefire of 1914 and football match that followed are heartwarming examples of the underlying kind nature of humans.

Bregman ends the book with a number of examples of how kindness has been used as a weapon such as during the civil war in Colombia where FARC fighters were treated as people lost in the jungle rather and the novel approach to prisons in Norway. This is another fascinating book from Mr Bregman and I will look forward to reading more by him in the future.

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  • Matthew
  • 23-05-2020

The most valuable book of our times.

If we can’t have a basic income then we should consider having a universal basic book. This is it.
It is as a-political as a smile and as valuable as a hug.
The research rivals Yuval Noah Harari’s best.
The arguments are tight and revelatory.
My faith in humanity is well and truly restored.
I can highly recommend to people of all stripes and spots.
Well done Sir.

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  • Snorrisson
  • 20-05-2020

A self help book for humanity

In these times, this is probably the most important book you'll ever read. For those who like conspiracies, what they won't tell you, and all those general secrets about stories - this is especially for you. That's because what they don't want you to know is simple, actually the human race is pretty decent - in fact it's our decency that separates us from our nearest animal relatives.