21 Lessons for the 21st Century

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future . Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues.

"Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century."--Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review


How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.

"If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'"-- BookPage (top pick)
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780525512172
Branch Call Number: 909.82 H2125T 2018
Characteristics: xix, 372 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 17, 2019

This book, and others by this author - Sapiens and Homo Deus - have got resounding reviews. I borrowed and ‘read’ Homo Deus and 21 Lessons. Found both to be very shallow collections of everyday issues. For 21 Lessons, all that an engaged reader has to do is read the chapter headings and subtitles - and would not need to read the book. Opinions are just that; an unbiased understanding of the issue is crucial starting point. Reading the author’s view did not provide me any additional perspective on the topics. The ink and paper would have been better used elsewhere. Save your time - skip it.

Dec 20, 2018

The book is generally quite engaging and does discuss many very important issues. I found the historical, social and geopolitical commentary to be quite illuminating, but when he occasionally wanders out of his lane into more technological or scientific aspects he is much less convincing. The book also does drag a bit in the last couple chapters.

Nov 28, 2018

Very entertaining. Read and think...it is not required that you agree.

Nov 13, 2018

Take what you read here with a grain of salt. Harari is a historian, not a scientist or engineer. When his writings touch these topics, which is most of the time, it is implausible speculation, based on sensationalist guesswork by popular science journalists. Go through the chapter on Work, for example, and count how many sentences start with "What if." First, does anyone who knows what they're talking about think these what-ifs might come to pass, and second, I'm looking to you, Harari, to tell me what's going to happen, not ask me!

Worth looking into, but not as good as the previous two books, which were works of history. One might suspect it was written to capitalize on their success. Comes across as a sophomore bull session, or what we used to call mental masturbation, meaning that it feels good to think about, but it just doesn't get the job done, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Nov 01, 2018

I was going to rate this book at 3 stars. However agonizing through the last two chapters which for me were just a numbing of a delusional mind, I downgraded it to 2 stars.

Oct 30, 2018

Twelve hours of my life well spent. There are enough concepts in this book to keep you pondering for the rest of your life. Best read with a very open mind.

Oct 07, 2018

I read the reviews of 21 lessons for 21 century, mixed. That readers-views demonstrate how complex is the issue(s). AI alone is said to solve problems is a myth; recent neuroscience studies shed light on the complexity of the neural works and the ever-changing matrix of that. To surrender to AI is give up our soul, the energy of the soul is so vastly superior that is immeasurable! Figuring out math solution faster than the fastest computer is one such, sterilization of solid gold ellipsoid within a human mouth is another science breaker. These and many others challenge AI on its face and will continue to demonstrate the ultimate power of the soul-energy. Any book is exciting to show modern thinking and commercial trends, cannot predict, pin-pointed.
thanks for reading

Oct 07, 2018

Excellent book. Read it. Lose your illusions. Well at least some of them.

Oct 04, 2018

I enjoyed the topics Harari brought up giving valuable perspectives for the readers to think things over critically. Some of the topics poses existential questions that humanity of all levels should pay attention to and act accordingly. It is not someone else's problem or future generations' problem. It is our problem, and it requires our action, especially responsible actions instead of kicking the proverbial can down the road.

Oct 01, 2018

I have just finished reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century after enjoying Sapiens and Homo Deus. I found 21 to be interesting, stimulating and frightening.

While it was not specifically written as a quote, the last sentence of one of the paragraphs in the chapter “Ignorance” gave me pause. “If you cannot afford to waste time, you will never find the truth.” Think the 2026 Olympics Bid, Brexit, Global Warming, #metoo, Trump, Immigation, or my favourite, Artificial Intelligence – Friend or Foe.

Think about the rate of change we are experiencing. In the chapter “Education” Harari asks what should be on the public education agenda in 2018 and will that knowledge have much value in twenty years’ time? I would have no idea what 'knowledge path' a 12-year old should travel today.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top