Homo Deus
Yuval Noah Harari
Contributed by Andrea Barraza

Historical Context

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is a book written by Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli professor at The University of Hebrew in Jerusalem. The book was first published in the Hebrew language by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir in 2015. In September 2016, an English version of the book was published in the United Kingdom, which was later followed by an edition for the United States in February 2017 (Runciman np). In this book, Harari gives an account of the way in which things happened, while describing events and specific human experiences together with ethical issues concerning his historical survey. He puts more focus on the abilities acquired by Homo sapiens during their existence and evolution as a species, which was superior to the others. Homo Deus describes humanity’s current abilities and accomplishment and tries to foresee the future. A human being is likely to attempt to find happiness, gain immortality and have powers compared to that of God; this forms the basis of all the ideas that Harari presents in Homo Deus.

Throughout the book, Harari speculates on several ways in which happiness, immortality and God-like powers might be realized in the in the future based on past and present evidence. According to Harari, Homo sapiens have played an important role in bringing out the meaningfulness of the world through the many achievements witnessed over the time they have been in existence (Wolf 978). However, he also believes Homo sapiens have lost control in life through technological advancements, which have reduced the ability of human beings to give meaning to their lives. These contrasting ideas of accomplishments that human beings have had on earth over time, and what it may look like in future, is what the makes the book an interesting read.

Homo Deus was well received by many readers after it was published in 2017; and where the book has received a lot of media attention (Runciman np). Several renowned media companies have published articles and reviews on the book, where The Guardian and The New York Times happened to be some of the media companies that were at the forefront of analyzing Harari’s sentiments through their respective reviews. Time Magazine ranked it among the top ten non-fiction books of 2017. Since its first publication in 2015, the book has been translated into more than fifteen languages from its original Hebrew language, some of which included English, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, expanding its worldwide reach.

Author’s Biography

Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli professor of history, was born on 24 February, 1976 in Kiryat Ata City in Israel. Harari was raised in Haifa, which is the third largest city in Israel in a profane Jewish family with Lebanese and Eastern European origin. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1993 to 1998, where he specialized in medieval and military history. Harari later joined Jesus College, Oxford, where he completed his doctorate in 2002 (Harari np). He also attended postdoctoral studies in history in Yad Hanadiv, an Israeli philanthropic Foundation funded by the Rothschild family.

Upon Harari’s public declaration of his homosexuality, he got married to his husband, Itzik Yahav, who is also his manager, in a civil ceremony in Toronto Canada (Runciman np). The duo lives in Mesilat Zion, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem. He is recognized for always expressing the love he has for his husband by, many times, referring to him as ‘My Internet of all things.’

Today, Yuval Noah Harari works as a tenured professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem department of History, in addition to authoring a variety of books. Some of the famous articles and books he has authored includes: The Ultimate Experience; Coffee, and Authority, as well as Armchairs and Many Others. Currently, he writes more about world history and macrohistorical process. Among the books Harari wrote on history included A Brief History of Humankind, which has been translated into almost thirty languages. The Hebrew version of the book became a bestseller in Israel and generated great interest amongst the general public, as well as the field of academia (Senior np). The success of the book turned Harari into a celebrity, as many wanted to know and meet this great man. In 2016, he wrote Homo Deus, a book that analyses the big projects humans are dealing with in the 21st Century. In less than two years, approximately four million copies of the book have been sold, where it has been translated into many languages.

 The writings of Yuval Noah Harari analyses the concepts of consciousness, the meaning of intelligence, and free will. It is this concept and his excellent writing skills that have enabled him to win several awards. In 2009 and 2012, he won the Polonsky Prize twice for his creativity and originality. In 2011, he got an award from the Society of Military History for an outstanding article in the history of the military (Runciman np). Apart from the two awards, Horari was elected to the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences in 2012.

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