After examining the course of early human history in the bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and speculating on where we might be heading as post-human species in the next bestseller named Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari is back with his third book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
While his previous books give an insight into the past and the possibilities of future respectively, this one is all about the present. In 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval looks at the current world scenario with a bird’s-eye view. He majorly concentrates on the ‘here and now’ unlike his previous bestsellers.
A celebrated intellectual that he is, Harari tries to tap into issues that are usually the topic of discussions during tea-time breaks or merely forwarded on the social media platform and they die as soon as the tea is finished or the account is logged out of. He, on the other hand, slices each and every topic of that discussion; asking us to sit down, put the bigotry aside and try to seek a retort.
Backed-up by solid research and indefinite interactions, Harari specifically initiates his queries with the fundamental issues – What’s happening right now? What are today’s choices and challenges? What should we pay attention to? What should we teach our kids? He further stimulates the reader by focusing on major forces that shape societies all over the world and are likely to influence the future of our planet as a whole. The book is divided into five sections- The Technological Challenge, The Political Challenge, Despair and Hope, War, Truth, and Resilience. Every section further has four to five subsections. In the section of God, he dynamically breaks the most common credulity by saying “Religious faith is not a necessary condition for moral behavior.” He contributes many such prolific measures and he gives them perceptively. The book is free of any prejudice and he dares to answer the dilemmas which were only discussed until now but seldom fathomed. Practical advice is sprinkled throughout the book in every chapter.
Needless to say, Harari has teed up a vital global conversation about how to take on the problems of the 21st century in this 350 pager.