Book review – Humankind

Book review – Humankind
Cover of the Dutch version of the book

When reading the newspapers headlines, one must think the world is doomed. Every story is about dramas. If this is your only source of information, your view on humankind must be very negative. So, in general, you might think people are bad.

On the other hand, people are living next to each other for centuries. In the beginning in small groups of hunter-gatherers, later in communities. In all this time, people helped and supported his neighbour. Probably it’s more realistic to think people are good in nature! Peoples instincts are more leaning towards cooperation and doing what’s best for all of us.

In this 476 pages book, Rutger Bregman tells a story, starting from first humans until modern times. An untold story of 200 000 years of human history. He challenges general accepted assumptions and supports it with hundreds of scientific sources. Some of the most known sociological experiments are discussed and often contradicted. Very useful, since people have a “negativity bias”.

Logo of the Corona Denktank

A great recent example, is the corona crisis!
At the very beginning of the crisis, a few makers started the “Corona Denktank”. In a few weeks time, a community of 2000 enthusiasts gathered and started working on projects to support fellow citizens.

To end the book, there is a list of guidelines to live by from the author himself. Maybe they can help you also to look to others with a more positive view?

The book is a story, not a scientific publication, so it’s highly opinionated. The story that’s told, though, it one everyone can relate to. Even when you disagree with it.

If you would like to read it, you can probably get it in every book store. It’s written in Dutch originally while translations are being released in English (pre-order) in June 2020. To save resources, the publisher encourages the owner of the book to pass on the book to another interested person. You can borrow mine, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Copy of the book read: 2 times