Humankind: A Hopeful History

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The Danish author and internationally renowned historian, Rutger Bergman, reverses some of his own previously held beliefs in his latest contribution to the pool of knowledge. In what is sure to be a best-seller, Bergman makes himself vulnerable to a host of naysayers as he boldly proclaims that, contrary to popular consensus, most people are basically good and trustworthy–even our worst enemies.

Pitting the work of Hobbs against that of Rousseau, Bergman theorizes that if only we gave strangers the benefit of the doubt instead of robbing us blind, we might discover new friendships or at the very least better relationships. Some will quickly point out that one of the by-products of Rousseau’s work was the French Revolution and the bloody aftermath of the Reign of Terror that stained the streets of Paris red. Lest we forgot the lessons of history and end up echoing them afresh, let the reader be forewarned that Bergman is not advocating we all drop our weapons, join hands and sing “Kum-by-ya”, but almost. If we are to take seriously his proposals, workers don’t really need managers, students don’t really need conventional schools, and governments could do without politicians.

If the author were some crackpot the entirety of Bergman’s theory would be dismissed by the whole publishing industry. It would have never made its’ way into print or electronic media. But here is the author of the best seller Utopia For Realists, a book translated into thirty-two languages, advising us that we will be happier, more productive, and better citizens of the planet if we learn to trust one another enough to treat each other as humans and that our inhumanity is based on a false perception. It is the kind of book you hope someone else will read before they judge you for some embarrassing trace left floating in the ether of social media.


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Author Rutger Bregman
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 408 pages
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date 6/2/2020
ISBN 9780316418539
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2020
Category Philosophy
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