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Rutger Bregman

in conversation with D.A. Wallach

Rutger Bregman talks to D.A. Wallach

about his new book, “Humankind: A Hopeful History”


Rutger Bregman, a historian and writer at The Correspondent, is one of Europe’s most prominent young thinkers. His last book, Utopia for Realists, which was translated into thirty-two languages, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Holland.  We did an in studio interview with Rutger Bregman for is last book, Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World.

Watch the in-studio interview we did with him for Utopia for Realists.

Reviews and features on the book
— In ‘Humankind,’ Bregman Aims To Convince That Most People Are Good, NPR
Rutger Bregman’s optimistic history of the world, BBC History Magazine
— New ‘Humankind’ Book Says We’re Good, But Will That Save Us From Climate Change? Forbes

D.A. Wallach
 is a venture capital investor and an acclaimed recording artist. He began his career as one half of the duo Chester French. He now focuses on his other passion, investing. He has since built a parallel career as a venture capitalist, backing technology companies including Spotify, SpaceX, Ripple, The Boring Company, and Memphis Meats. Since 2015, D.A. has focused almost exclusively on biotechnology and healthcare, seeking to reinvent medicine through breakthrough start-ups. He is the co-founder of the non-profit Franca Fund for preventive genomics.  He previously interviewed Michael Nesmith at Live Talks Los Angeles. 



Humankind: A Hopeful History

“I greatly enjoyed reading Humankind. It made me see humanity from a fresh perspective and challenged me to rethink many long-held beliefs. I warmly recommend it to others, and I trust it will stir a lot of fruitful discussions.”
Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It’s a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we’re taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.
But what if it isn’t true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens.
From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn’t merely optimistic—it’s realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity’s kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.