Preface: “Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.”
…..In previous eras, when humans faced a plague such as the Black Death, they had no idea what caused it or how it could be stopped. When the 1918 influenza struck, the best scientists in the world couldn’t identify the deadly virus, many of the countermeasures adopted were useless, and attempts to develop an effective vaccine proved futile.
…….The unprecedented scientific and technological successes of 2020 didn’t solve the Covid-19 crisis. They turned the epidemic from a natural calamity into a political dilemma. When the Black Death killed millions, nobody expected much from the kings and emperors. About a third of all English people died during the first wave of the Black Death, but this did not cause King Edward III of England to lose his throne. It was clearly beyond the power of rulers to stop the epidemic, so nobody blamed them for failure.
Professor Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, philosopher, and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, and Sapiens: A Graphic History. His books have sold 27.5 Million copies in 60 languages, and he is considered one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals today.
Born in Israel in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Harari originally specialized in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?