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Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. Yet his survey is binocular: one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye--and his heart--belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work for more than 30 years. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Most of this work deals with non-Europeans, but Diamond's thesis sheds light on why Western civilization became hegemonic: "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves." Those who domesticated plants and animals early got a head start on developing writing, government, technology, weapons of war, and immunity to deadly germs. (LJ 2/15/97)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I think this book suffered being dated for me. The overall principal has been explained to me in several other books. Good read for the layman thoughPublished 6 days ago by Matthew Patterson
Jared has come out with a winner. If you ever wanted to know about human origin this is the book.Published 13 days ago by George
When I ordered this book, I thought it was more about political history by looking at the title. To my huge very pleasant surprise, it is about the kind of historical info I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Monica Young
This book changed my view of the world. I cannot say that about very many books.Published 1 month ago by M. Blauvelt
What an interesting book - I loved it as I am and always have been curious about how the human race progressed through the millions of years -most logical explanations.Published 2 months ago by Jean Herring
Today's so-called "Ultimate" cause is tomorrow's proximate cause. This author, who it should be noted is not an historian, presumes to brush aside unconvincingly the field... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Glen Helling
Any suspicions that the author was a genius were quickly dispelled when he went into a lengthy and unsubstantiated fairytale about the supposed evolution of man in Africa 5-9... Read morePublished 3 months ago by RGSommer
Jared Diamond's book is a great example of how someone can manage to put together a self-consistent theory of how a major historical event (the anthropological evolution of people)... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Aaron Berk