I picked up Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown when the world was facing the biggest crisis of this generation, and the timing could not have been more perfect. For years we have been conditioned to believe that, at our core, humans are selfish and governed by self-interest. But as the virus took its toll on the world, time and time again we saw communities coming together to help one another. Acts of kindness and selflessness performed by pre-schoolers to centenarians were seen around the globe.
And yet we shouldn’t be surprised. In his book Rutger Bregman re-examines the evidence, the studies and experiments that claim to prove the worst in human nature 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.
Despite dealing with academic studies and theories by psychologists and philosophers Bregman’s compiles a compelling case that is easy to read and enables to the reader to question the narratives that have been fed to us by the media. I whole heartedly endorse the sentiments of the reviewer from the Telegraph who says ‘This is the book we need right now . . . Entertaining, uplifting . . . If Bregman is right, this book might just make the world a kinder place’
You can purchase Humankind: A Hopeful History from our shop on Cowes High Street or via our website here: Humankind: A Hopeful History.