Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
A global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race. Until around 11,000 b.c., all peoples were still Stone Age hunter/gatherers. At that point, a great divide occurred in the rates that human societies evolved. In... show more
A global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race. Until around 11,000 b.c., all peoples were still Stone Age hunter/gatherers. At that point, a great divide occurred in the rates that human societies evolved. In Eurasia, parts of the Americas, and Africa, farming became the prevailing mode of existence when indigenous wild plants and animals were domesticated by prehistoric planters and herders. As Jared Diamond vividly reveals, the very people who gained a head start in producing food would collide with preliterate cultures, shaping the modern world through conquest, displacement, and genocide. The paths that lead from scattered centers of food to broad bands of settlement had a great deal to do with climate and geography. But how did differences in societies arise? Why weren't native Australians, Americans, or Africans the ones to colonize Europe? Diamond dismantles pernicious racial theories tracing societal differences to biological differences. He assembles convincing evidence linking germs to domestication of animals, germs that Eurasians then spread in epidemic proportions in their voyages of discovery. In its sweep, Guns, Germs and Steel encompasses the rise of agriculture, technology, writing, government, and religion, providing a unifying theory of human history as intriguing as the histories of dinosaurs and glaciers. Jared Diamond, professor of physiology at the UCLA Medical School, is the author of The Third Chimpanzee, awarded the 1992 Los Angeles Times Science Book Award. He is a regular contributor to Natural History and Discover magazines and lives in Los Angeles.
Publish date: May 9th 1997
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 480
Edition language: English
This is a weighty book, ya'll. Jared Diamond's book had been on my list for ages because once upon a time it had been on one of my recommended reading lists for an undergraduate Anthropology class (I majored in that field). I didn't have the time to read it then (it is 425 pages after all) but the t...
This is an interesting and influential book that in its broad conclusions makes a lot of sense, though I have doubts about Diamond’s reasoning on some of his smaller points. It’s longer than it needs to be, but largely because it is thorough and takes the time to break down academic subjects to be a...
Molto interessante, senza ombra di dubbio. Ho appreso molte cose che non sapevo, soprattutto su folklore e sui popoli polinesiani..purtroppo però, mi è sembrato spesso ripetitivo e a volte anche abbastanza "scontato". Forse, prefiggersi un compito così impegnativo come quello di riuscire a capire co...
Took me a year and a half to read this book. Not only because I'm a slow reader, though I am. But it was so long and there were so many other activities and books clamoring for my attention, that I got sidetracked several times. But it was worth coming back to. It's a fascinating study of how hu...
Diamond explains why some groups of humans have done well based on local circumstances: material resources, pathogens, human migratory patterns, that sort of thing. It's such a useful and non-racist theory that it holds immediate appeal. I've no idea how well it's withstood research over the past tw...