Humankind: A Hopeful History

Philosophy , Ethics & Moral Philosophy, Science, Study & Work, Smart Thinking, Spirituality & Beliefs, Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 13/05/2021
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Bookseller Reviews

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A book to make you feel better about the world
Life is getting better and overwhelmingly people are good. That's the view of Rutger Bregman and he has the evidence to prove it. Along the way he will tea... READ MORE
Paul Watson


From 'the folk hero of Davos', Fox News antagonist and author of the international bestseller Utopia for Realists comes a radical history of our innate capacity for kindness. 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 Pinker, 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 book, international-bestselling 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.

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • ISBN: 9781408898956
  • Number of pages: 496
  • Weight: 400g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm

Customer Reviews

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Surprisingly superb
I was really surprised about this book. I wasn't sure that I would like it, as it is not the type of book I would normally go for, but I actually really l... READ MORE
Catherine Craig
Read this!
I was really captivated by this book - it's fascinating and informative but written in a way that is approachable and not overly complicated. Definitely ma... READ MORE
Anna B
Well argued, but feels like its missing something
Bregman introduces a number of interesting case studies to combat the widely held notion that people are not inherently good. However, I left the book feel... READ MORE
Tom Langford
What you thought was wrong, we're actually better
Rutger Bregman delves into the root of the inhumane. If, like me, you are just interested in the world around you and have no prior knowledge of anything t... READ MORE
This is the book that got me back into reading. I have signed up to Waterstones online simply to leave this review. I bought this book on Sunday, and today... READ MORE
Sam Jubb
Great book
Finally someone who gives you a positive outlook on the world!
Johanna Grusch