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An Evening with Alastair Sawday

20th October, 2021, Steyning Cricket Club


Essential reading for anyone feeling full of despair in these difficult times, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman’s fresh take on human nature is heartening and optimistic.   

From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Dawkins, in religion, fiction, science, psychology and sociology, we have been taught that human beings are by nature selfish and governed by self-interest. In ‘Humankind’, Rutger Bregman makes a revolutionary new argument: People are essentially GOOD, and their actions naturally tend towards kindness and altruism.  

Chapter by chapter, going back through 200,000 years of human history, Bregman re-evaluates and re-examines some of the most famously pessimistic events and case-studies; 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 experiments, he finds persuasive new evidence for humanity’s essential decency. If we begin to believe in fundamental human kindness and altruism, we may be able to achieve true change in society.  

For fans of Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari