An intriguing study of the rise of civilization argues that human development is not based on race or ethnic differences but rather is linked to biological diversity, discussing the evolution of agriculture, technology, writing, political systems, and religious belief. Tour.
guns germs and steel
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'A book of big questions, and big answers' Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens WITH A NEW AFTERWORD FROM THE AUTHOR Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel remains a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.
"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates 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.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject Economy - Environment economics, grade: 1,0 (A), University of Hamburg (Centre for Sea and Climate Research), course: Seminar Contemporary Environmental Problems, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The starting point of Diamond’s book “Guns, Germs, And Steel” is a question he was asked by an indigenious New Guinean friend of his called Yali. His question was: “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”1, adressing the obvious inequality in wealth and power of today’s world. With his book, Diamond tries to provide an answer for this question. According to Diamond, the immediate causes for the inequalities in the world today are to be found in the different stages of development between the continents as of around A.D. 1500. By that time, only societies of Eurasia, the landmass that constitutes Asia and Europe, and there especially the Western Europeans, possessed ocean-going ships, population-decimating germs, steel weapons, horses usable for warefare, easy spread of information by an efficient writing system and many other means that come in handy decimating, subjugating or in some cases even exterminating the originial inhabitants of other continents. Diamond calls these advantages the proximate factors of differing developments that led to the inequalities. The book’s title “Guns, Germs, And Steel” can be understood as a summary of these proximate causes. In chapter three of his book, Diamond cites as a prominent example of the inequalities the conquest by the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro and a few hundred soldiers over the Inca emperor Atahuallpa at Cajamarca/Peru in A.D. 1532. The Spanish got there and won because they possessed the above stated proximate factors. He then turns the point around and asks why, for instance, the Native Americans or Aboriginal Australians were not the ones who possessed these proximate factors and used them to conquer Europe. [...]
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.
In his 1997 work Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond marshals evidence from five continents and across 13,000 years of human history in an attempt to answer the question of why that history unfolded so differently in various parts of the globe. His results offer new explanations for why the unequal divisions of power and wealth so familiar to us today came into existence - and have persisted. Balancing materials drawn from a vast range of sources, addressing core problems that have fascinated historians, anthropologists, biologists and geographers alike - and blending his analysis to create a compelling narrative that became an international best-seller and reached a broad general market - required a mastery of the critical thinking skill of reasoning that few other scholars can rival. Diamond's reasoning skills allow him to persuade his readers of the value of his interdisciplinary approach and produce well-structured arguments that keep them turning pages even as he refocuses his analysis from one disparate example to another. Diamond adds to that a spectacular ability to grasp the meaning of the available evidence produced by scholars in those widely different disciplines - making Guns, Germs and Steel equally valuable as an exercise in high-level interpretation.
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of Guns, Germs, and Steel tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Jared Diamond’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter summaries Detailed timeline of key events Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond: Professor Jared Diamond’s informative and fascinating Pulitzer Prize–winning Guns, Germs, and Steel explores a historic question: Why were the Eurasian peoples able to dominate those from other lands? Diamond argues that it was ecology and geography—not race—that shaped the modern world. Societies that developed in regions with fertile land for farming and that had domesticable plants and animals were able to progress more quickly, thereby creating the tools to conquer preliterate cultures. Drawing on a variety of disciplines—from linguistics, genetics, and epidemiology to biology, anthropology, and technology—Guns, Germs, and Steel offers an eloquently argued view of the development of human societies. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.