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Humankind: A Hopeful History

Original price $23.00 - Original price $23.00
Original price
$23.00 - $23.00
Current price $23.00

Rutger Bregman




It's a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. 


Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. Humankind makes a new argument: that it is realistic, as well as revolutionary, to assume that people are good. The instinct to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust, has an evolutionary basis going right back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. By thinking the worst of others, we bring out the worst in our politics and economics too. 


In this major book, internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman takes some of the world's most famous studies and events 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. It is time for a new view of human nature.





1. A New Realism

2. The Real Lord of the Flies


Part I: The State of Nature

3. The Rise of Homo puppy

4. Colonel Marshall and the Soldiers Who Wouldn't Shoot

5. The Curse of Civilisation

6. The Mystery of Easter Island


Part 2: After Auschwitz

7. In the Basement of Stanford University

8. Stanley Milgram and the Shock Machine

9. The Death of Catherine Susan Genovese


Part 3: Why Good People Turn Bad

10. How Empathy Blinds

11. How Power Corrupts

12. What The Enlightenment Got Wrong


Part 4: A New Realism

13. The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

14. Homo ludens

15. This Is What Democracy Looks Like


Part 5: The Other Cheek

16. Drinking Tea with Terrorists

17. The Best Remedy for Hate, Injustice and Prejudice

18. When the Soldiers Came Out of the Trenches