Guns Germs & Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Diamond, Jared

9780393317558

ISBN 10: 0393317552 / 0-393-31755-2
ISBN 13: 9780393317558
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs, and Steel is a brilliant work answering the question of why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading other continents and conquering or displacing their peoples. This edition includes a new chapter on Japan and all-new illustrations drawn from the television series. Until around 11,000 BC, 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.

Review:
Life isn't fair--here's why: Since 1500, Europeans have, for better and worse, called the tune that the world has danced to. In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond explains the reasons why things worked out that way. It is an elemental question, and Diamond is certainly not the first to ask it. However, he performs a singular service by relying on scientific fact rather than specious theories of European genetic superiority. Diamond, a professor of physiology at UCLA, suggests that the geography of Eurasia was best suited to farming, the domestication of animals and the free flow of information. The more populous cultures that developed as a result had more complex forms of government and communication--and increased resistance to disease. Finally, fragmented Europe harnessed the power of competitive innovation in ways that China did not. (For example, the Europeans used the Chinese invention of gunpowder to create guns and subjugate the New World.) Diamond's book is complex and a bit overwhelming. But the thesis he methodically puts forth--examining the "positive feedback loop" of farming, then domestication, then population density, then innovation, and on and on--makes sense. Written without bias, Guns, Germs, and Steel is good global history.

Review

Review:
Fascinating and extremely important... [A] synopsis doesn't do credit to the immense subtlety of this book. --David Brown

Review

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Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780393317558)
Diamond, Jared
ISBN 10: 0393317552
ISBN 13: 9780393317558
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Book Description: WW Norton Co, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 236 x 156 mm. Brand New Book. In this artful, informative, and delightful (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California s Gold Medal. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780393317558

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Diamond, Jared
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Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780393317558)
Diamond, Jared
ISBN 10: 0393317552
ISBN 13: 9780393317558
Bookseller: The Book Depository (Gloucester, UK, United Kingdom)
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Quantity Available: 10

Book Description: WW Norton Co, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 236 x 156 mm. Brand New Book. In this artful, informative, and delightful (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California s Gold Medal. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780393317558

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (ISBN: 9780393317558)
Diamond, Jared
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Paperback) (ISBN: 0393317552 / 0-393-31755-2)
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Book Description: 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 156mm x 36mm x 237mm. Paperback. In this "artful, informative, and delightful (book)" ("New York Review of Books"), Diamond offers a convincing explanation of the way the modern world came to be and stunningly .Shipping may be from our UK, US or Australian warehouse depending on stock availability. 480 pages. 0.594. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393317558

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