Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs, and Steelis 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 Steelencompasses 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.
'\'Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.\\n
'With a new chapter. The phenomenal bestseller; over 1.5 million copies sold; is now a major PBS special.\n
Dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors he feels are responsible for history's broadest patterns
Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns....
About the Author
Jared Diamond is professor of geography at UCLA and author of the best-selling Collapseand The Third Chimpanzee. He is a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.
Table of Contents
Yali's question: The regionally differing courses of history-- From Eden to Cajamarca. Up to the starting line: What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.? -- A natural experiment of history: How geography molded societies on the Polynesian islands -- Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain -- The rise and spread of food production. Farmer power: The roots of guns, germs, and steel -- History's haves and have-nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food production -- To farm or not to farm: Causes of the spread of food production -- How to make an almond: The unconscious development of ancient crops -- Apples or indians: Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants? -- Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? --Spacious skies and tilted axes: Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents? -- From food to guns, germs, and steel. Lethal gift of livestock: The evolution of germs -- Blueprints and borrowed letters: The evolution of writing -- Necessity's mother: The evolution of technology --From egalitarianism to kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religion -- Around the world in five chapters. Yali's people: The histories of Australia and New Guinea -- How China became Chinese: The history of East Asia -- Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of Austronesian expansion -- Hemispheres colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared -- How Africa became black: The history of Africa -- The future of human history as a science.