"This is a book about a radical idea.…That most people, deep down, are pretty decent."
If you despair that humans are hardwired for selfishness and violence, Humankind
should be next on your "to be read" list. Historian Rutger Bregman weaves an engaging tapestry of history, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology to make his case for the inherent goodness of the human species. His real-life examples are heartening: Unlike the fictional Lord of the Flies
, in the 1970s a group of shipwrecked schoolboys worked together to care for each other until help arrived; the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment was secretly engineered, and the majority of the "guards" refused researchers' orders to mistreat the "prisoners"; research into modern and ancient warfare suggests that, even in the heat of combat, many soldiers tried not to kill enemy combatants. Bregman doesn't deny that humans can and have committed terrible acts, but this "hopeful history"
just might restore your faith in mankind. (KG)