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Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari Yuval Noah Harari[1†]

Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli author and historian born in 1976, is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is renowned for his bestsellers “Sapiens,” “Homo Deus,” and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” which explore themes like free will, consciousness, and the future of humanity. Harari posits that Homo sapiens' rise began with a cognitive revolution 70,000 years ago. Harari predicts significant changes in human evolution due to biotechnological advancements[1†][2†][3†].

Early Years and Education

Yuval Noah Harari was born in 1976 in Kiryat Atta, Haifa District, Israel[1†][3†]. He was one of three children born to Shlomo and Pnina Harari and was raised in a secular Jewish family[1†]. His father was a state-employed armaments engineer, and his mother was an office administrator[1†].

Harari showed an early aptitude for learning, teaching himself to read at the age of three[1†]. He studied in a class for intellectually gifted children at the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa from the age of eight[1†]. Harari deferred mandatory military service in the Israel Defense Forces to pursue university studies as part of the Atuda program but was later exempted from completing his military service following his studies due to health issues[1†].

He began studying history and international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at age 17[1†]. Harari then went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002[1†][4†][3†]. His doctoral thesis was titled “History and I: War and the Relations between History and Personal Identity in Renaissance Military Memoirs, c. 1450–1600” and was supervised by Steven Gunn[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002[1†][5†][4†], Yuval Noah Harari returned to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is now a tenured professor in the Department of History[1†][5†][6†][4†]. His research focuses on macro-historical questions such as the relationship between history and biology, the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals, whether there is justice in history, whether history has a direction, whether people have become happier as history unfolded, and what ethical questions science and technology raise in the 21st century[1†][5†].

Harari is the author of the international bestsellers “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” (2014), “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” (2016), and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” (2018)[1†][5†][4†]. His books have sold more than 20 million copies worldwide[1†][5†]. In “Sapiens”, Harari surveys human history from the evolutionary emergence of Homo sapiens to 21st-century political and technological revolutions[1†]. The book is based on his lectures to an undergraduate world history class[1†].

In “Homo Deus”, Harari explores the opportunities and dangers humankind faces in this century and beyond[1†][6†]. He discusses the possible consequences of a futuristic biotechnological world in which intelligent biological organisms are surpassed by their own creations[1†]. He has stated, "Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so"[1†].

Harari co-founded Sapienship with his husband and original agent, Itzik Yahav[1†][5†]. Sapienship is a social impact company with projects in the fields of entertainment and education[1†][5†]. Its mission is to clarify the public conversation, support the quest for solutions, and focus attention on the most important challenges facing the world today, such as technological disruption, ecological collapse, and the nuclear threat[1†][5†].

Harari has given keynote speeches on the future of humanity at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020 and 2018[1†][5†]. He regularly discusses global issues with heads of state and has had public conversations with several world leaders[1†][5†]. He also offers knowledge and time to various organizations and audiences on a voluntary basis[1†][5†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Yuval Noah Harari is the author of several popular science bestsellers[1†][7†][8†][5†]. His writings examine free will, consciousness, intelligence, happiness, and suffering[1†]. Here are some of his main works:

Each of these works has made significant contributions to popular science literature and has sparked widespread discussion and debate[1†][7†][8†][5†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Yuval Noah Harari’s work has been widely analyzed and evaluated by critics, scholars, and readers alike[8†][9†][10†][11†][12†]. His books, particularly “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, have been praised for their audacious imagination, clear exposition, and the ability to synthesize complex ideas in an accessible manner[8†][9†].

Harari’s work is characterized by its multifaceted review and analysis of human evolution and the forces behind major historical developments[8†][10†]. He avoids simplistic explanations and instead offers a comprehensive retelling of the human story, seasoned with personal reflections on humanity’s tenancy of the planet[8†][9†].

Critics have noted that Harari’s underlying message is often dark, reflecting his view that the scientific revolution may yet have dire consequences for humanity[8†][9†]. His writings discuss a “cognitive revolution” that occurred roughly 70,000 years ago when Homo sapiens supplanted the rival Neanderthals and other species of the genus Homo[8†]. This ascension was aided by the agricultural revolution and accelerated by the scientific revolution, which have allowed humans to approach near mastery over their environment[8†].

Harari’s analysis extends to the future, examining the possible consequences of a biotechnological world in which intelligent biological organisms are surpassed by their own creations[8†]. He has stated, "Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so"[8†].

Despite the acclaim, some critics have pointed out potential oversimplifications in Harari’s work. His broad strokes approach to complex historical events and developments has been both praised for its accessibility and critiqued for its lack of nuance[8†][9†].

Overall, Harari’s work has had a significant impact on popular science literature and has sparked widespread discussion and debate[8†][9†][10†][11†][12†].

Personal Life

Yuval Noah Harari is openly gay[1†][8†][13†]. He met his husband, Itzik Yahav, in 2002[1†][8†][13†]. Harari has referred to Yahav as his "internet of all things"[1†][13†]. Yahav has also served as Harari’s personal manager[1†][8†][13†]. They were married in a civil ceremony in Toronto, Canada[1†][8†][13†].

Harari and Yahav currently reside in a suburb of Tel Aviv[1†][8†]. Harari has expressed that he is happiest in the present, having learned to adjust his expectations to reality better than when he was younger[1†][8†]. His most treasured possession is his body[1†][8†].

Despite his global recognition and busy schedule, Harari maintains a two-hour daily meditation practice. He credits this practice with giving him the focus and peace needed to write[1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Yuval Noah Harari’s work has had a profound impact on our understanding of human history and the future of our species[1†][14†]. His books, particularly “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”, and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, have been translated into numerous languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide[1†]. They have stimulated reflection and discussion among readers around the globe[1†][14†].

Harari’s unique perspective on the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the scientific revolution has challenged traditional narratives and offered new insights into the development and potential future of Homo sapiens[1†]. His exploration of themes such as free will, consciousness, intelligence, happiness, and suffering has resonated with a wide audience[1†].

In addition to his contributions to literature and historical discourse, Harari is also known for his public intellectual work[1†]. He has used his platform to comment on contemporary issues, offering sharp critiques and challenging prevailing ideologies[1†][14†][15†][16†].

Despite the controversy and debate surrounding some of his ideas, Harari’s influence is undeniable[1†][14†]. His work continues to inspire and provoke thought, cementing his legacy as one of the most influential thinkers of our time[1†][14†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Yuval Noah Harari [website] - link
  2. Yuval Noah Harari - About [website] - link
  3. Goodreads - Author: Yuval Noah Harari (Author of Sapiens) [website] - link
  4. Britannica - Yuval Noah Harari [website] - link
  5. World Economic Forum - Yuval Noah Harari [website] - link
  6. thefutureorganization.com - Jacob Morgan - Yuval Harari On The Future of Jobs & Technology, Intelligence vs Consciousness, & Future Threats to Humanity [website] - link
  7. eNotes - Works by Yuval Noah Harari [website] - link
  8. The Guardian - None [website] - link
  9. The Guardian - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind review – thrilling story, dark message [website] - link
  10. Books on Google Play - Summary, Analysis & Review of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens by Eureka by Eureka [website] - link
  11. The Daily Genevan - Review Of "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" (Part 1) [website] - link
  12. BookRags - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Summary & Study Guide [website] - link
  13. GoBookMartd - Yuval Noah Harari's Biography [website] - link
  14. Secular Humanism - Free Inquiry - The Meaning and Legacy of Humanism: A Sharp Challenge from a Potential Ally [website] - link
  15. The Guardian - Yuval Noah Harari backs critique of leftist ‘indifference’ to Hamas atrocities [website] - link
  16. Al Arabiya English - Netanyahu legacy imperiled by judicial plan: Israeli author Harari [website] - link
  17. Google Books - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari [website] - link
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