【English/日本語】Read an English book📖英語の本を読もう📚Sapiens―chapter#9 Unification

🇺🇸English✕ 上級日本語🇯🇵

英語でSapiens を読もう📖#9


For English learners!

Hello everyone, how’s your English learning journey going?😃 Reading an English book is sometimes a long journey. You might inadvertently stop if you are alone. But no worries. You are at the right place already. I would like to explore an English book here so that you can try reading the book with me. We are not alone. Let’s enjoy a fun time reading!

The book, which I picked up this time, is called Sapiens, published by Yuval Noah Harari. The Amazon Kindle link below allows you to read up to chapter 3. Today, I am covering chapter.9.

You can check out my recommending strategy of reading as well as a bit of information about this book with a link below.

Okay then, let’s get started📖






Ch.9 The Arrow of History

第9章 統一へ向かう世界

Grasp the structure!🦧構成を把握する

To grasp the chapter, you just try to see its hierarchical configuration. I strongly recommend drawing it either physically or virtually.


What is culture?
  • to think in certain ways
  • to behave in accordance with certain standards
  • to desire certain things
  • to observe certain rules
culture’s characteristic
  • ✖ Every culture is complete and harmonious, possessing an unchanging essence that defined it for all time.
  • Every culture has its typical beliefs, norms, and values, but these are in constant flux. It tries to reconcile its contradictions.

cultures change by
  • response to changes in its environment
  • response through interaction with neighboring cultures.
  • undergo transition due to their own internal dynamics.
Examples of contradictions
  1. Christianity, which valued nobility such like meek and pensive, with chivalry, which value lust, honor, and military prowess in medieval Europe: contradiction.
  2. Modern political order. People value quality and individual freedom, but they are contradicted each other. Failure to square liberty with equality.w to treat one another without wasting the time and energy needed to become personally acquainted.
Cognitive dissonance
  • Since every culture has hold contradictory beliefs and be riven by incompatible values, humans experience cognitive dissonance.
  • It is a vital asset to establish and maintain human cultures.
  • Where two imperatives in a culture are at war is at the very spot for you to understand the culture.

 🚧工事中 🚧

Generalization at the macro level
  • Over the millennia, small, simple cultures gradually coalesce into bigger and more complex civilization.
  • A mega-culture breaks up into pieces, but it is a temporary reversal inexorable trend towards unity.
    • ex.)Christianity
    • ex.)Spanish language split into local dialects, then became national languages.
Two different viewpoints
  • the proverbial bird’s eye-view; scanning centuries, too myopic, not clear whether unity or diversity.
  • a cosmic spy satellite view: scanning millennia, clear to see the unity.

Example of isolated cultures
  • ex.)Tasmania: 12,000 years isolation while developing their own culture.
  • ex.) Rome and Teotihuacan had similar incidents without connections in 378 A.D.
The transition of numbers of human worlds
  • Around 10,000 B.C.: many thousand
  • By 2000 B.C.: dwindled to the hundreds
  • By 1450 A.D.: 10%-four dwarf worlds and 90% -the single mega world of Afro-Asia.
    • In 1521, swallowed up the Mesoamerican World.
    • in 1532, consumed the Andean World.
    • in 1606, landed on the Austria World
    • in 1788, colonized on the Oceanic World.
  • Today, almost all humans share the same geopolitical system.
The single global culture
  • It contains many different types of lifestyles and people.
  • All are closely connected and they influence one another in myriad ways.
  • All use the same concepts and fight by using the same weapons.
  • Over the last few centuries, all cultures were changed almost beyond recognition by a flood of global influences.
    • ex.) ethnic cuisine; food are used non native ingredients.

 🚧工事中 🚧

Imagined orders for the united world
  • economic: the monetary order
  • political: the imperial order
  • religious: the order of universal religions
Who managed to transcend the binary division?
  • Merchants: a single market and all potential customers
  • Conquerors: a single empire and all potential subjects
  • Prophets: a single truth and all potential true believers

 🚧工事中 🚧

Summarize the chapter concisely🦧章を一言でまとめる

To summarize, check the hierarchical configuration and make sentences with important points of each.


Unlike evolutionary instinct, Sapiens created artificial instinct, which is called culture. It establishes and maintains its contradictions. Where the cognitive dissonance occurs is at the very spot for culture to reconcile its contradictions and change. As observe the culture’s pattern with a cosmic spy satellite view, you can see that history is in the direction of unity. Today, people live in a single global culture. For the transition from the binary evolutionary division, us and them, to the unity of humankind, Sapiens created three potentially universal orders: the monetary order, the imperial order, and the order of universal religions.


Make questions to discuss🦧ディスカッション用の質問を作ろう

To discuss, make questions. It gives you a great topic to talk about in English.


Evaluative question 全体的な評価についての質問

How effective is the presentation in whole or in part? Why did the speaker/author make these choices and how well do they work?

Many possible answers can be found outside of the presentation but it’s a reference.



My opinion: It is realistic. Sapiens culture more focus on human rights today. When a society doesn’t appreciate human rights enough, then another society start to complain that everyone should consider the same value of human rights.


five questions for discussion🦧ディスカッション用の5つの質問

How does this make me feel? What does it remind me of?

There are many correct answers that are related to one’s experience; they can be found outside of the text/speech.

  • Have you ever…?
  • Does it make you angry when…?
  • Which part did you like?
  • How hard was this to understand?



  • こんな経験ありますか
  • こんなとき、怒った気持ちになりますか
  • どのパートが気に入りましたか
  • これを理解するのは難しかったですか

What does it say?

One correct answer is found in the text.

  • Who is …?
  • What happens first?
  • Where are …?
  • What is the difinition of this word?



  • これは誰?
  • 何が最初に起きた?
  • これはどこですか?
  • この言葉の定義はなんですか?

What does it mean? How are the parts connected? what is the reason for people’s actions?

There is more than one possible answer, but the viewer’s opinion is based directly on the text.

  • Why did the speaker…?
  • What can we say about the speaker’s point of view?
  • What is the significance of the title?
  • What did the speaker mean when they said…?



  • どうして話者は...?
  • 話者の視点について、どんなことが言えますか。
  • タイトルにはどんな意味があるでしょう。
  • 話者が...といったのはどういう意味でしょう。

What is the message beyond this presentation? What are the greater issues or questions this piece deals with?

The presentation is not directly referenced in the question. There are many possible answers found outside of the presentation, but it’s a starting point.

  • How do people…?
  • Why do people…?
  • What is the truth about…?



  • 人々はどうやって...?
  • どうして人々は...?
  • ...の真実は何でしょう?

How effective is the presentation in whole or in part? Why did the speaker/author make these choices and how well do they work?

Many possible answers can be found outside of the presentation but it’s a reference.

  • Is it realistic when …?
  • How does the speaker use … to show …?
  • Would this be better if …?
  • Is the speaker biased towards/against…?



  • この箇所は現実味がありますか。
  • 話者がこの...をどのように表現しましたか。
  • もし...であればもっとよかったですか。
  • 話者は...の考え方に偏っていますか。

Expressions and terms🦧覚えておきたい単語・表現

Pick some terms that you are unfamiliar with from sentences you high-lightened and memorize them because you need them to discuss this chapter!!


termexample sentence
curtailEquality can be ensured only by curtailing the freedoms of those who are better off.
infringeThat infringes on the freedom of individuals to spend their money as they wish.
squareJust as medieval culture did not manage to square chivalry with Christianity, so the modern world fails to square liberty with equality.
layHow did money, empires, and universal religions lay the foundation of the united world of today?

How did you enjoy chapter 9? I was relieved this chapter was short since chapter 8 was long and dense.


When it comes to the evolutionary binary division of us and them, I feel that my country has strong importance on it still. It calls an Uchi and Soto mindset. To me, it seems that people already give in to the inevitable unification direction, however, still try to maintain this culture somehow from an American western point of view. For example, Japan has to experience peculiar experiences regarding how the Covid-19 spread. It seems they are experiencing in 2021 what the world in 2020.