June Meeting: Humankind

When: Thursday 9 June, 7.30pm
*Please note this is the second Thursday of the month, due to the bank holiday the previous week!
This meeting is online only (please note this has changed since first posted!). Zoom link HERE.
Speaker: Sam Becker

Join us in June when SELHuG member – and self-confessed bibliophile – Sam Becker will lead a review of and discussion around the thought-provoking book Humankind: A Hopeful History. This title seems to strike to the heart of our concerns as humanists looking for a positive way to feel about humankind, so come along to find out more and to chew over some of the ideas presented.

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. 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.

Rutger Bregman is a historian and writer at the Correspondent. His last book, Utopia for Realists, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in Holland.