Book Review: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
Review written by Maia Nehme, teen volunteer.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is a nonfiction book written by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari. Harari is both a best-selling author and an acclaimed history professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Homo Deus explores the impact of major technological developments on human society. The author uses these past events to predict humankind’s main goals in the next millennium. Harari explains that throughout the history of humanity, we have focused on surpassing three obstacles: famine, disease and war. He asserts that as a species, we have managed to overcome the first two issues through the creation of vaccines, antibiotics and other scientific discoveries. Ironically enough, the development of nuclear weapons has given many countries the power to wipe out humanity, which incentivizes nations to maintain peaceful relations and avoid war at all costs. Therefore, since we have defeated our main three obstacles, we will need to develop a new human agenda. Harari believes that the focus of the future will be on lengthening human lives, achieving true happiness and creating genetically modified “superhumans.”
I found Homo Deus to be a fascinating and extremely informative read. Throughout the book, Harari pinpoints key moments in history and explains their effects on humankind in language that is both engaging and easy to follow. I also liked that rather than focusing merely on scientific discoveries, the book delves into philosophical developments, such as the creation of humanism and individualism. Overall, I enjoyed Homo Deus much more than its predecessor, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Whereas Sapiens tries to tackle an extremely complex subject (summarizing the entire history of humanity), Homo Deus is focused on the author’s general predictions about the future, which is a much more realistic topic to cover in only 400 pages. I highly recommend this book, regardless of whether you are an expert historian or a high school student. I guarantee that you will learn something new.