World-renowned historian sad his books for children now shrink-wrapped in Hungary

September 27. 2023. – 08:50 AM


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Yuval Noah Harari was sad to learn that due to Hungary's anti-LGBTQ law, (officially called the "Child Protection Act"), his history books for children can only be sold in Hungarian bookshops in plastic wrapping. "I am really sad because this regulation makes it even harder for children to access these books," the world-renowned Israeli historian-philosopher told RTL.

"I wrote these books to try to help children understand themselves better, to understand our world better. I write history books because I believe that history is directly linked to our everyday life. History helps us understand who we are," said Harari, whose works have reportedly had a strong influence on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as well.

Harari has also written two history books for teenagers: "How humans took over the world" is a book about the triumph of mankind and its sequel is entitled "Why the world isn't fair". Both books are recommended from the age of 9 to 10, they are hundreds of pages long, with just a few – rather inoffensive – sentences about the existence of people who are not heterosexual and of types of families that differ from the traditional model. Harari wrote about all this in a historical context, as a historical fact.

“It is an important topic because they want to know about it. Most children are interested in gender roles, so to speak. They are in love, they have feelings, for example about how they feel about their own bodies. It's more important to them than math, physics, history or anything else.”

"And as adults, we are responsible for helping them understand this through science: what gender is, what social gender is. And this is not about sex, there is no sex scene in my book, for example. It talks about relationships, and about love in a way that is appropriate for children," the historian and philosopher said, adding that the Bible is not banned and doesn't have to be wrapped in plastic in bookshops, even though it contains stories that are much harder to digest, such as incest and rape.

We wrote more about the legal requirement to wrap books in plastic in this article.

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