Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs and Steel examines the rise of civilization and the issues its development has raised throughout history.
Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology. Diamond also dissects racial theories of global history, and the resulting work—Guns, Germs and Steel—is a major contribution to our understanding the evolution of human societies.
Why didnt more advanced civilizations develop in the new world? Why wasnt there ever a panAfrica empire? Why didnt the Maori conquer the east and dominate modern culture? Diamond, in his clear way, explains through geography and anthropology, the reason the Eurasian continent has been the dominant force in human history. Its about metal and resources, large animals, hunting, and travel. Decades ago, geography played a much stronger part in American education. Sadly, Americans are almost entirely geographically ignorant now. Diamond takes the technique of using geography to analyze the overall trends of world history. It is wonderful. I think his premise that some people are considered racial inferior because they havent dominated global history is something of a straw man argument. He sets it up to topple it down. People dont actually still think like that, do they? However, poor premise aside, it is a very enjoyable read.