Following Sapiens and Homo Deus, both international best-sellers, Harari returns with a new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
In Sapiens, the Israeli historian examined humanity’s deep past. In his follow-up work, Homo Deus, he wrote about the future. In 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, he explores the present, covering today's urgent issues from war – his academic specialism – to fake news, from terrorism to immigration.
He also turns his attention to more individual concerns, from resilience and humility to meditation, his favourite leisure activity.
The book is a collection of themed essays, many of which build on articles for Haaretz, the New York Times, Bloomberg and elsewhere, aiming to take stock of where humanity has reached, and where it might be going.
The celebrated author says of 21 Lessons on the publisher's Penguin webpage:
"My new book will aim to answer the overarching question: what is happening in the world today, what is the deeper meaning of these events and how can we individually steer our way through them? The questions I aim to explore will include what the rise of Trump signifies, whether or not God is back, and whether nationalism can help solve problems like global warming."
In twenty-one chapters, Harari untangles political, technological, social, and existential issues and offers advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in.
If you wonder how will societies respond to AI and the conceivable uselessness of workers, how can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us, why is liberal democracy in crisis and what should we teach our children, then you'll consider 21 Lessons for the 21st Century as a valuable self-help guide for a bewildering age.
“If we want to make the world a better place, understanding ourselves, our minds and our desires will probably be far more helpful than trying to realise whatever fantasy pops up in our heads” Harari says towards the end of his third book.
Born in Haifa, Israel to Lebanese parents in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002 and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He specialised in World History, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?
Harari twice won the Polonsky Prize for "Creativity and Originality", in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History's Moncado Award for outstanding articles in military history. In 2012 he was elected to the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences. In 2017 Homo Deus won Handelsblatt’s German Economic Book Award for the most thoughtful and influential economic book of the
Here is a review about Harari's latest book published in the Evening Standard:
"Harari thrills his readers because he addresses the biggest possible topics with confidence and brio. Compared with the subjects he tackles, anything else we might read looks piffling and parochial. We all would like to know how we came to be what we are and what we might one day become."