Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Fates of Human SocietiesBook - 2005
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One of the biggest disappointments of my life as a reader and as a librarian is that I will never read all the books that I want to. I have a pretty healthy appetite for culture. I’m a reader, I watch a very hefty dose of movies -- both old and new -- and I devour television on more streaming platforms than I would like to admit. I also try to leave my house occasionally. But even without all… (more)
One of the biggest disappointments of my life as a reader and as a librarian is that I will never read all the books that I want to. I have a pretty healthy appetite for culture. I’m a reader, I watch a very hefty dose of movies -- both old and new -- and I devour television on more streaming platforms than I would like to admit. I also try to leave my house occasionally. But even without… (more)
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Adult Custom Reading List Nov 14, 2019
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs, and Steel 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. In its sweep, Guns, Germs and Steel encompasses the rise of agriculture, tech... Read More »
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“In short, Europe’s colonization of Africa had nothing to do with differences between European and African peoples themselves, as white racists assume. Rather, it was due to accidents of geography and biogeography—in particular, to the continents’ different areas, axes, and suites of wild plant and animal species. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate.”
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book, and produced by the National Geographic Society, was broadcast on PBS in July 2005.
It was also published under the title Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The book attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations (in which he includes North Africa) have survived and conquered others, while refuting the assumption that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral or inherent genetic superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures, and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.
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