Yuval Noah Harari (Hebrew: יובל נח הררי‎‎; born 24 February 1976) is an Israeli historian, tenured professor at the Department of History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem[2] and the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

His book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow was published in Hebrew in 2015. An English translation was published in the United Kingdom in September 2016.

Background

Harari was born in Kiryat Ata, Israel in 1976 and grew up in a secular Jewish family of eastern European origin in Haifa, Israel.[3]

Career

Harari first specialized in medieval history and military history, and studied from 1993 to 1998 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his doctorate at Jesus College, Oxford, in 2002 under the supervision of Steven J. Gunn. From 2003 to 2005 he pursued Postdoctoral studies in history, as a Yad Hanadiv Fellow.[4]

Since then, he has published numerous books and articles, including Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1550; The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450–2000; “The Concept of ‘Decisive Battles’ in World History”; and “Armchairs, Coffee and Authority: Eye-witnesses and Flesh-witnesses Speak about War, 1100-2000”.

He now specializes in World History and macro-historical processes.

His book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind was published in Hebrew in 2011 and then in English in 2014; it has since then been translated into close to 30 additional languages.[5] The book surveys the entire length of human history, from the evolution of Homo sapiens in the Stone Age up to the political and technological revolutions of the 21st century. The Hebrew edition became a bestseller in Israel, and generated much interest both in the academic community and among the general public, turning Harari into a celebrity.[6] YouTube Video clips of Harari’s Hebrew lectures on the history of the world have been viewed by tens of thousands of Israelis;[2]

Harari also gives a free online course in English titled A Brief History of Humankind. More than 100,000 people throughout the world have already taken this course.

Harari twice won the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality, in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History’s Moncado Award for outstanding articles in military history. In 2012 he was elected to the Young Israeli Academy of Sciences. In 2015 Sapiens was selected by , for his . Mark invited his followers to read what he describes as “a big history narrative of human civilisation”.

Homo sapiens interests

Harari is interested in how homo sapiens reached its current condition, and in its future. His research focuses on macro-historical questions such as: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?

Harari regards dissatisfaction as the 'deep root' of human reality, and as related to evolution.[2]

Animal welfare

Harari has commented on the dire plight of animals, particularly domesticated animals, since the agricultural revolution, and is a vegan.[3]

Meditation

Harari says Vipassana meditation, which he began whilst in Oxford, has "transformed my life".[2] He practises for two hours every day, every year undertakes a meditation retreat of 30 days or longer, in silence and with no books or social media,[2][2][2] and is an assistant meditation teacher.[2] He dedicated Homo Deus to "my teacher, S. N. Goenka, who lovingly taught me important things," and said "I could not have written this book without the focus, peace and insight gained from practising Vipassana for fifteen years."[2] He also regards meditation as a way to research.[2]

Personal life

Harari met his husband in 2002 and lives in moshav (a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms) Mesilat Zion near Jerusalem.[2][13][14] He is a vegan.[3]

Books

Writings

  • The Military Role of the Frankish Turcopoles – a Reassessment, Mediterranean Historical Review 12 (1) (June 1997), pp. 75–116.
  • Inter-Frontal Cooperation in the Fourteenth Century and Edward III’s 1346 Campaign, War in History 6 (4) (September 1999), pp. 379–395
  • Strategy and Supply in Fourteenth-Century Western European Invasion Campaigns, The Journal of Military History64 (2) (April 2000), pp. 297–334.
  • Eyewitnessing in Accounts of the First Crusade: The Gesta Francorum and Other Contemporary Narratives, Crusades 3 (August 2004), pp. 77–99
  • Martial Illusions: War and Disillusionment in Twentieth-Century and Renaissance Military Memoirs, The Journal of Military History 69 (1) (January 2005), pp. 43–72
  • Military Memoirs: A Historical Overview of the Genre from the Middle Ages to the Late Modern Era, War in History 14:3 (2007), pp. 289–309
  • The Concept of ‘Decisive Battles’ in World History, The Journal of World History 18 (3) (2007), 251-266
  • Knowledge, Power and the Medieval Soldier, 1096–1550, in In Laudem Hierosolymitani: Studies in Crusades and Medieval Culture in Honour of Benjamin Z. Kedar, ed. Iris Shagrir, Ronnie Ellenblum and Jonathan Riley-Smith, (Ashgate, 2007)
  • Combat Flow: Military, Political and Ethical Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being in War, Review of General Psychology (September, 2008)
  • to Peter Singer's Animal Liberation, The Bodley Head, 2015.