Top positive review
Clarity Is Power and the Ability to Ward Off Nihilism So We Can Move Forward into the 21st Century
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2018
Yuval Noah Harari’s name came up when a few years ago a friend urged me to read Harari’s best-selling Sapiens, which I have put off, but since reading 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, a book that reads more like an essay collection, than a outright book (not a bad thing in this case), I do want to feast on all of Harrari’s books. I had to underline close to a hundred cogent insights throughout the book.
If anything unifies these essays--ranging from religion, morality, AI, terrorism, universal basic income, freedom, equality, meditation, nationalism, post-truth fascism, Trumpism, justice, secularism, and education—it is Harari’s desire to use his expertise as a historian, and by turn, a futurist, to equip us with the tools, attitudes, and moral approaches to moving forward in the 21st Century, shedding unwanted baggage such as fundamentalism, nationalism, racism, and other “isms.”
In his Introduction, he brilliantly begins: “In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. . . . As a historian, I cannot give people food or clothes—but I can try to offer some clarity, thereby helping to level the global playing field.”
He warns us that the liberal secular vision of humankind moving forward with the powers of reason has taken a huge hit with the nihilism of Trumpism.
Taken as a whole, Harari’s book is intended to give us the tools to ward off nihilism, arrogance, and primitive “isms” and to become a fully realized modern human being. Highly recommended.