What we’re reading: ’21 lessons for the 21st century’; Yuval Noah Harari
As with most lawyers, we enjoy our books. Having spent years at Law School devouring cases and textbooks, and doing our best to keep abreast of all the changes to the law to maintain our skills, the habit of reading is usually well entrenched.
The obligation to ‘professionally’ read is one thing. The opportunity to read for pleasure is something else, and a welcome change to the day to day grind.
To show you that we aren’t all ‘law nerds’, we thought it would be valuable to start a series of blogs about subjects that aren’t necessarily law related, but give you an insight into some of the things that we enjoy.
So, this is the first of the ‘what we are reading’ series. We aren’t professional reviewers. Far from it! But hopefully you will get a bite size taste as to what is hanging around on our coffee tables and bedside cabinets.
Here we go….
The first book in the series is Yuval Noah Harrari’s ’21 Lessons for the 21st Century’. The author of the global bestsellers Sapiens and Homo Deus, Harrari’s latest work shines a spotlight on current global issues and reflects on the societal and human conditions that provided the context in which such issues have arisen. As an Israeli academic, Harrari takes special interest in the place of religion in the web of international society and the impact the various religious faiths have in the politics and social conditioning of the differing international players.
Structured as a loose collection of themed essays, the author addresses topical issues such as the rise of nationalism, ‘fake new’, climate change and the impending impact of technology (in particular artificial intelligence) on the human workforce. In each cast, Harrari identifies the issue and the circumstances behind it, then offers ‘solutions’ as to the mitigation of impacts.
For those who haven’t read Sapiens or Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century satisfies as a standalone read, however as the themes in those earlier books are carried through to 21 Lessons can be viewed as a new volume in a series in the observation of the human condition.
As an author, Harrari has his critics. His books are a combination of information and provocation, designed to illicit a response. Because of this, and due to the popularity of his books, he occupies the rarefied space of the ‘new age prophets’ in a similar manner to that afforded Jordan Peterson. Having said this, 21 Lessons is a thought provoking piece, and is recommended to those readers looking to broaden their appreciation of the current state of humanity.
To buy the book, or see further reviews, follow these links: