Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 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, 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.
" " William H. McNeil
" " New York Review of Books
" " James Shreeve New York Times Book Review
" " Colin Renfrew Nature
" " Paul R. Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
" " Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
" " Martin Sieff Washington Times
" " The New Yorker
" " Alfred W. Crosby Los Angeles Times
" " David Brown Washington Post Book World
"Artful, informative, and delightful.... There is nothing like a radically new angle of vision for bringing out unsuspected dimensions of a subject, and that is what Jared Diamond has done." William H. McNeil
"An ambitious, highly important book." New York Review of Books
"A book of remarkable scope, a history of the world in less than 500 pages which succeeds admirably, where so many others have failed, in analyzing some of the basic workings of culture process.... One of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years." James Shreeve New York Times Book Review
"This is a brilliantly written, passionate, whirlwind tour though 13,000 years of history on all the continents--a short history of everything about everybody.... By at last providing a convincing explanation for the differing developments of human societies on different occasions, the book demolishes the grounds for racist theories of history.... After reading the first two pages, you won't be able to put it down." Colin Renfrew Nature
"The scope and the explanatory power of this book are astounding." Paul R. Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
"No scientist brings more experience from the laboratory and field, none thinks more deeply about social issues or addresses them with greater clarity, than Jared Diamond as illustrated by . In this remarkably readable book he shows how history and biology can enrich one another to produce a deeper understanding of the human condition." The New Yorker
"Serious, groundbreaking biological studies of human history only seem to come along once every generation or so. . . . Now  must be added to their select number. . . . Diamond meshes technological mastery with historical sweep, anecdotal delight with broad conceptual vision, and command of sources with creative leaps. No finer work of its kind has been published this year, or for many past." Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
"[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 has developed. . . . [He] has done us all a great favor by supplying a rock-solid alternative to the racist answer. . . . A wonderfully interesting book." Martin Sieff Washington Times
"An epochal work. Diamond has written a summary of human history that can be accounted, for the time being, as Darwinian in its authority." Alfred W. Crosby Los Angeles Times
"Fascinating and extremely important... [A] synopsis doesn't do credit to the immense subtlety of this book." Thomas M. Disch The New Leader
"Magisterial in its sweep, research, and erudition, yet written in a direct, unstuffy style, which makes it an easy read."
and#8212; Commander Robert D. Green, Royal Navy (ret.)
and#8220;Brilliant, original, and important and#8212; the best analysis yet of why nuclear weapons donand#8217;t work.and#8221;
and#8212; Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
and#8220;A superb examination of both historical and present day issues surrounding nuclear weapons of war. No matter your background or expertise, before you say or do anything else regarding and#8216;nukes,and#8217; Iand#8217;d strongly recommend you read and give serious consideration to the arguments in this terrific work.and#8221;
and#8212; General B. B. Bell, U.S. Army (ret.)
and#8220;Nine nations now possess nuclear weapons and a tenth seems intent on acquiring them. These states and their governments pose an existential threat to all humanity. Ward Wilsonand#8217;s brilliant deconstruction of the myths which cause states to pursue nukes and cling to their arsenals is an important step toward a saner world free of nuclear dangers.and#8221;
and#8212; Barry Blechman, Cofounder/Distinguished Fellow, The Stimson Center
"What makes his case so convincing (though not all will be convinced) is that he makes it not in the spirit of Utopian idealism, but fact-facing pragmatism." and#8212; Kirkus,starred review
"This slim, persuasively argued, tightly written book provides much food for thought and could make some readers radically change their perceptions about nuclear weapons." and#8212; Booklist
"Concise analysis...Wilson's theories are certain to create discussion and a reevaluation of assumptions on the topic." - Publishers Weekly, starred review"Concise analysis...Wilson's theories are certain to create discussion and a reevaluation of assumptions on the topic." and#8212; Publishers Weekly, starred review
With a new chapter. The phenomenal bestseller; over 1.5 million copies sold; is now a major PBS special.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Expanded from an article that created a stir in foreign policy circles, Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons makes an explosive case that these weapons just don't work.
An explosive rethinking of the power and purpose of nuclear weapons andmdash; and a call for radical action
Nuclear weapons have always been a serious but seemingly insoluble problem: while theyandrsquo;re obviously dangerous, they are also, apparently, necessary. This groundbreaking study shows why five central arguments promoting nuclear weapons are, in essence, myths. It is a myth:
andbull; that nuclear weapons necessarily shock and awe opponents, including Japan at the end of World War II
andbull; that nuclear deterrence is reliable in a crisis
andbull; that destruction wins wars
andbull; that the bomb has kept the peace for sixty-five years
andbull; and that we canandrsquo;t put the nuclear genie back in the bottle
Drawing on new information and the latest historical research, Wilson poses a fundamental challenge to the myths on which nuclear weapons policy is currently built. Using pragmatic arguments and an unemotional, clear-eyed insistence on the truth, he arrives at a surprising conclusion: nuclear weapons are enormously dangerous, but donandrsquo;t appear to be terribly useful. In that case, he asks, why would we want to keep them?
This book will be widely read and discussed by everyone who cares about war, peace, foreign policy, and security in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
WARD WILSONandnbsp;is a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has spoken before governments and at think tanks and universities, includingandnbsp;Stanford, Princeton, Georgetown, the Naval War College, and the United Nations.
Table of Contents
NUCLEAR WEAPONS SHOCK AND AWE OPPONENTS and#8195;1
H-BOMB QUANTUM LEAPand#8195;33
NUCLEAR DETERRENCE WORKS IN A CRISISand#8195;45
NUCLEAR WEAPONS KEEP US SAFEand#8195;66
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVEand#8195;83