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

Author: Jared M Diamond
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st editionView 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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Genre/Form: History
Nonfiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Diamond, Jared M.
Guns, germs, and steel.
New York : W. W. Norton & Company, ©1997
(OCoLC)1206417019
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jared M Diamond
ISBN: 0393038912 9780393038910 0393317552 9780393317558 9780613181143 061318114X
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 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Prologue. Yali's question : The regionally differing courses of history --
Part One. From Eden to Cajamarca --
Chapter 1. Up to the starting line : What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.? --
Chapter 2. A natural experiment of history : How geography molded societies on Polynesian islands --
Chapter 3. Collision at Cajamarca : Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain --
Part Two. The rise and spread of food production --
Chapter 4. Farmer power : The roots of guns, germs, and steel --
Chapter 5. History's haves and have-nots : Geographic differences in the onset of food production --
Chapter 6. To farm or not to farm : Causes of the spread of food production --
Chapter 7. How to make an almond : The unconscious development of ancient crops --
Chapter 8. Apples or Indians : Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants? --
Chapter 9. Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle : Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? --
Chapter 10. Spacious skies and tilted axes : Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents? --
Part Three. From food to guns, germs, and steel --
Chapter 11. Lethal gift of livestock : The evolution of germs --
Chapter 12. Blueprints and borrowed letters : The evolution of writing --
Chapter 13. Necessity's mother : The evolution of technology --
Chapter 14. From egalitarianism to kleptocracy : The evolution of government and religion --
Part Four. Around the world in five chapters --
Chapter 15. Yali's people : The histories of Australia and New Guinea --
Chapter 16. How China became Chinese : The history of East Asia --
Chapter 17. Speedboat to Polynesia : The history of Austronesian expansion --
Chapter 18. Hemispheres colliding : The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared --
Chapter 19. How Africa became black : The history of Africa --
Epilogue. The future of human history as a science.
Responsibility: Jared Diamond.

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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