Guns, Germs and Steel
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Guns, Germs and Steel : A Short History of Everbody for the Last 13000 Years

3.99 (179,118 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 34mm | 399.99g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 32 b&w halftones
  • 0099302780
  • 9780099302780
  • 292

Review quote

"Monumental and monumentally good" -- William Leith, 4 stars Scotsman "A book of big questions, and big answers" Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens "A book of remarkable scope... One of the most important and readable works on the human past" Nature "Fascinating, coherent, compassionate and completely accessible" Sunday Telegraph "A prodigious, convincing work, conceived on a grand scale" Observer "The most absorbing account on offer of the emergence of a world divided between have and have-nots... Never before put together so coherently, with such a combination of expertise, charm and compassion" The Times "Diamond's sideways-on view of human development may well establish its author as one of the very few scientists to have changed the way we think about history" Sunday Telegraphshow more

About Jared M. Diamond

Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, the number one international bestseller Collapse and most recently The World UntilYesterday. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.show more

Review Text

The fate of the native Americans was sealed in the late Pleistocene when their ancestors, spreading across the continent, wiped out the large land mammals. The lack of suitable creatures to domesticate at a later stage of cultural development left the people with no resistance to the kind of germs - flu, tuberculosis, measles - that humans originally picked up from cattle and pigs. It was germ warfare that enabled a few boatloads of Spaniards to subjugate the Americas. Geography, climate and microbiology are the mainstays of Diamond's overview of evolution, which sets out to demolish racism and to answer the interesting question, 'Why did wealth and power become distributed as they now are, rather than in some other way?' He makes the answer seem so obvious that you think you could have figured it out for yourself. The very broad sweep entails some omissions and generalizations, but the result is a solid basis for the study of history. (Kirkus UK)show more

Back cover copy

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science. âThe most absorbing account on offer of the emergence of a world divided between have and have-nots... Never before put together so coherently, with such a combination of expertise, charm and compassionâ The Times âA book of remarkable scope... One of the most important and readable works on the human pastâ Nature âFascinating, coherent, compassionate and completely accessibleâ Sunday Telegraphshow more

Our customer reviews

This is a panoramic view of human history. The book seeks to explain why some people have managed to split the atom and put a man on the moon while others remain rooted in a stone age society. Diamond argues that is not down to differences in intellegence, creativity etc but rather the particular environmental circumstances people find themselves. Only certain parts of the planet has allowed crop and animal domestication. The diffusion of the knowledge has also been circumscribed by environmental and geogrphical factors. It is the creative interactions with these environments by humans which determine how progress is made. Some people have found themselves in blind alleys and cul de sacs but others have been able to evolve and develope to create our modern society. The arguement is convincing from a historical perspective. How it will apply in a more global society remains to be seen. Diamond acknowledges that his study is still at the very broad brush stage and invites others to engage in to fill in the pieces or challenge the wider approach he has taken.show more
by Kilronan
I cannot recommend this book too highly. A magnificent exploration of why and how humanity has developed so diversely over time. Perhaps its most important role is to dispel the myth that some of us are primitive and others developed. A hard belief to shake when confronted with small groups of naked people living in jungles and comparing them to the inhabitants of Tokyo or New York, but this book manages it well. Through its many examples we can see the intelligent and rational responses, that are the hall mark of all humans, to the varied situations and circumstances we find ourselves in.show more
by Jocelyn Willbond
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