Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (Google eBook)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 17, 1999 - Social Science - 528 pages
227 Reviews

"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."óBill 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.

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Well written, well researched, well packaged. - Goodreads
I wanted more pictures to interrupt the text. - Goodreads
I liked the author and his writing style more and: 2.) - Goodreads
This book was interesting and educational. - Goodreads
I was right - there were more insights. - Goodreads
For a scientist, Jared Diamond is a very good writer. - Goodreads

Review: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

User Review  - Matthew Mull - Goodreads

Very interesting read that touches in a number of themes in a effort to explain the unexplainable. When writing on topics like this it is very difficult to strike the balance between giving all of the ... Read full review

Review: Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

User Review  - Goodreads

Pretty decent! Read full review

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Contents

UP TO THE STARTING LINE What happened on all the continents before 11000 BC?
35
A NATURAL EXPERIMENT OF HISTORY How geography molded societies on Polynesian islands
53
COLLISION AT CAJAMARCA Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain
67
THE RISE AND SPREAD OF FOOD PRODUCTION
83
FARMER POWER The roots of guns germs and steel
85
HISTORYS HAVES AND HAVENOTS Geographic differences in the onset of food production
93
TO FARM OR NOT TO FARM Causes of the spread of food production
104
HOW TO MAKE AN ALMOND The unconscious development of ancient crops
114
FROM EGALITARIANISM TO KLEPTOCRACY The evolution of government and religion
265
AROUND THE WORLD IN FIVE CHAPTERS
291
YALIS PEOPLE The histories of Australia and New Guinea
293
HOW CHINA BECAME CHINESE The history of East Asia
320
SPEEDBOAT TO POLYNESIA The history of the Austronesian expansion
332
HEMISPHERES COLLIDING The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared
352
How AFRICA BECAME BLACK The history of Africa
374
THE FUTURE OF HUMAN HISTORY AS A SCIENCE
401

APPLES OR INDIANS Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants?
131
ZEBRAS UNHAPPY MARRIAGES AND THE ANNA KARENINA PRINCIPLE Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated?
157
SPACIOUS SKIES AND TILTED AXES Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents?
176
FROM FOOD TO GUNS GERMS AND STEEL
193
LETHAL GIFT OF LIVESTOCK The evolution of germs
195
BLUEPRINTS AND BORROWED LETTERS The evolution of writing
215
NECESSITYS MOTHER The evolution of technology
239
Guns Germs and Steel Today
424
Acknowledgments
439
Further Readings
440
Credits
470
Index
473
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Jared Diamond is professor of geography at UCLA and author of the best-selling Collapse and The Third Chimpanzee. He is a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.

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