Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman is out now from Jonathan Ball Publishers!
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 primarily by self-interest.
Providing a new historical perspective on the last 200,000 years of human history, Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. When we think the worst of others, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics too.
In this major book, internationally 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 Blitz, a Siberian fox farm to an infamous New York murder, Stanley Milgram’s Yale shock machine to the Stanford prison experiment, 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.
‘Humankind challenged me and made me see humanity from a fresh perspective.’ – Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens
‘If you only read one book this year, make it this one.’ – Cathy Rentzenbrink
‘This book must be read by as many people as possible, only when people change their view of human nature will they begin to believe in the possibility of building a better world.’ – Grace Blakeley
‘It’d be no surprise if it proved to be the Sapiens of 2020.’ – Guardian
About the author
Rutger Bregman, a historian and writer at the Correspondent, is one of Europe’s most prominent young thinkers. His last book, Utopia for Realists, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 32 languages. He lives in Holland.