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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Jared Diamond...is broadly erudite, writes in a style that pleasantly expresses scientific concepts in vernacular American English and deals almost exclusively in questions that should interest everyone concerned about how humanity developed. . . .Reading Diamond is like watching someone riding a unicycle, balancing an eel on his nose and juggling five squealing piglets. You may or may not agree with him (I usually do), but he rivets your attention." Alfred W. Crosby, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"An artful, informative and delightful book." William H McNeil, The New York Review of Books

Review:

"The scope and the explanatory power of this book are astounding." The New Yorker

Review:

"A fascinating and extremely important book. That its insights seem so fresh, its facts so novel and arresting, is evidence of how little Americans — and, I suspect, most well-educated citizens of the most important forces of human history." David Brown, Washington Post Book Word

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 429-457) and index.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

aaslattery, December 20, 2007 (view all comments by aaslattery)
Few books bring together such disparate subjects as grain size, racism and geographical determinism. By the time I got done with this book, I felt better about life. Just remember this when you are trying to get through the grain size section.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393038910
Subtitle:
The Fates of Human Societies
Author:
Diamond, Jared
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Location:
New York :
Subject:
History
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Ethnology
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Human beings
Subject:
Social evolution
Subject:
Culture diffusion
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
23
Publication Date:
January 1997
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9.48x6.42x1.52 in. 1.86 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
Reference » Science Reference » General

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 480 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393038910 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Jared Diamond...is broadly erudite, writes in a style that pleasantly expresses scientific concepts in vernacular American English and deals almost exclusively in questions that should interest everyone concerned about how humanity developed. . . .Reading Diamond is like watching someone riding a unicycle, balancing an eel on his nose and juggling five squealing piglets. You may or may not agree with him (I usually do), but he rivets your attention."
"Review" by , "An artful, informative and delightful book."
"Review" by , "The scope and the explanatory power of this book are astounding."
"Review" by , "A fascinating and extremely important book. That its insights seem so fresh, its facts so novel and arresting, is evidence of how little Americans — and, I suspect, most well-educated citizens of the most important forces of human history."
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