By Rabiu Muhammad Gama
Prof. Yuval N. Harari might be a fake scholar, as some critics are desperately “begging” us to accept and believe. Some critics also imply that he might be the most grossly over-hyped and rigorously marketed scholar in the West. Harari might be basking in unearned attention. He might even be an irritating know-it-all or an intellectual nuisance.
The scientific community might have debunked most of his claims. His works might be riddled with some historical and scientific errors here and there. He might not deserve the wide global acclaim he is receiving today. His works might be replete with idle speculations and groundless generalizations that many scholars find annoying.
However, you cannot dismiss the fact that Harari always asks the big questions – the earthshaking questions that every intellectual worth his salt should be obsessed with. And there’s some “indismissable” magic that seems to clothe his books: when you read his books, you can’t help but feel a bit smarter and/or more informed than anyone who hasn’t read them.
To say Harari is highbrow is a sheer understatement. He is a perfect definition of a polymath. He is blessed with an unusual brain, a razor-sharp brain. His grasp of the esoteric world of science and the humanities is as baffling as it is admirable. Very few scholars can merge science and the humanities as Harari does.
If anything, the torrent of bashings and roastings that Harari is receiving lately from some of the finest critics in the world is a testimony that he has come up with something fascinating that makes his readers curious and his critics restless. Of course, some people might like to dismiss him as a mere talented storyteller. Nonetheless, and at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, he is one of the greatest intellectuals around!
Rabiu Gama wrote from Kano, Nigeria via email@example.com.