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Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

Author: Jared M Diamond
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., ©1997.
Series: Book club kit
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. Here, at last, is a world history that really is a history of all the world's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jared M Diamond
ISBN: 0393038912 9780393038910 0393317552 9780393317558
OCLC Number: 35792200
Performer(s): Read by Grover Gardner.
Awards: Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 1998.
Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, 1998.
Description: 480 pages, [32] pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prologue: Yali's question : the regionally differing courses of history ; Part 1: From Eden to Cajamarca. Up to the starting line : What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.? ; A natural experiment of history : how geography molded societies on the Polynesian islands ; Collision at Cajamarca : why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain --
Part 2: The rise and spread of food production. Farmer power : the roots of guns, germs, and steel ; History's haves and have-nots : geographic differences in the onset of food production ; To farm or not to farm : causes of the spread of food production ; How to make an almond : the unconscious development of ancient crops ; Apples or Indians : why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants? ; Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle : Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? ; Spacious skies and tilted axes : Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents? --
Part 3: From food to guns, germs, and steel. Lethal gift of livestock : the evolution of germs ; Blueprints and borrowed letters : the evolution of writing ; Necessity's mother : the evolution of technology ; From egalitarianism to kleptocracy : the evolution of government and religion --
Part 4: Around the world in five chapters. Yali's people : the histories of Australia and New Guinea ; How China became Chinese : the history of East Asia ; Speedboat to Polynesia : the history of Austronesian expansion ; Hemispheres colliding : the histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared ; How Africa became black : the history of Africa --
Epilogue: The future of human history as a science.
Series Title: Book club kit
Responsibility: Jared Diamond.
Local System Bib Number:
ocm35792200

Abstract:

Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. Here, at last, is a world history that really is a history of all the world's peoples, a unified narrative of human life even more intriguing and important than accounts of dinosaurs and glaciers. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be. It is a work rich in dramatic revelations that will fascinate readers even as it challenges conventional wisdom.
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Sits on my "Ten Best Books I've Ever Read" shelf & likely to stay.

by brekhusr (WorldCat user published 2006-12-05) Excellent Permalink
Jared Diamond takes on the ambitious project of explaining why it is that some continents' civilizations could conquer others, and finds the answer in people's ability to form domestic relationships with plant and animal species. To summarize: more "domesticated" (agricultural, harvested) plants leads...
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