Humankind by Rutger Bregman [7/10]

Belgian historian Rutger Bregman believes humans are by nature altruistic and kind, and that this is not just his belief but what history documents. “Humankind: A Hopeful History” is his supporting opus and it’s a fizzing romp. Bregman is a captivating stylist with a steady hand at the tiller, and the pages of his exploration of what he believes are the mistaken dogmas about humanity’s intrinsic selfishness and calculated self-interest. The mystery of human’s evil against humans, something that has obsessed me all my life, is, he believes, the exception to the rule, and to demonstrate that he tackles head on the Milgram and Stanford experiments, the Holocaust, The Lord of the Flies. All the classic tropes of rigid selfishness are, he demonstrates, flawed semi-propaganda. Most importantly, Bregman argues in Humankind that this flawed picture of ourselves prevents us from being our best, our most altruistic, our most successful in changing the world. Let this wonderment of a book sweep you up, dear reader.

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