zorathruster, December 28, 2012 (view all comments by zorathruster)
Excellent concept which explains human cultural evolution. The tie to geographical constraints on specific societies formulates a basis for present human social structures. Repetitive and occasionally deeper than the average reader can dig into, other than that well written and to the point.
A J MACLAREN, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by A J MACLAREN)
Diamond traces the history of human settlements around the world and why some succeeded and others didn't. His evidence is a fascinating mix of language studies and archeological evidence. Not a book you finish in one reading.
ltobin, November 5, 2011 (view all comments by ltobin)
A bit of an academic read, Diamond takes a direct approach to describing why and how groups of people evolved at different rates on separate continents. Although interesting and thought-provoking, many of Diamond's insights were "duh" moments for me as it all seemed rather obvious at the end of each chapter (of course environment would have such a strong influence).
A good read if you have the time, I think I would have enjoyed the book more on audio.
oceanlover, March 3, 2011 (view all comments by oceanlover)
This book won the Pulitzer prize for a reason. It so nicely explains out how the geography (and climate) of the Earth determined where civilizations would develop that it is a joy to read. You literally find yourself saying, "that makes so much sense". And the details of how it all began in Africa (and also probably in China) and then spread to the rest of the world, and the role played by domesticatable animals and plants that could be farmed are fascinating. A great read.
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oregonreader_73, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by oregonreader_73)
If you could only read one book this year, Guns, Germs, and Steel should be it. It's a readable exploration of why certain groups have more power in today's world than others. It's without a doubt the best book I've read in the last decade and one of the most important published in the last century.
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
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W. W. Norton & Company -
by Alfred W. Crosby, Los Angeles Times,
"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."
by William H McNeil, The New York Review of Books,
"An artful, informative and delightful book."
by The New Yorker,
"The scope and the explanatory power of this book are astounding."
"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
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
by Hold All,
'Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.\n
by Hold All,
With a new chapter. The phenomenal bestseller; over 1.5 million copies sold; is now a major PBS special.
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.
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