The "World Until Yesterday" is a visionary new account of humanity's past from Jared Diamond, author of the international bestsellers "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs and Steel", which has sold over 1 million copies and won the Pulitzer Prize. In "The World Until Yesterday", Diamond reveals how tribal societies offer an extraordinary window into how ...
The "World Until Yesterday" is a visionary new account of humanity's past from Jared Diamond, author of the international bestsellers "Collapse" and "Guns, Germs and Steel", which has sold over 1 million copies and won the Pulitzer Prize. In "The World Until Yesterday", Diamond reveals how tribal societies offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived for millions of years - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature. In his most personal book to date, Jared Diamond writes about his experiences over nearly five decades working and living in New Guinea, an island that is home to one thousand of the world's 7,000 languages and one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. Drawing on his own fieldwork, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians and other cultures, Diamond explores how tribal peoples approach essential human problems, from childrearing to old age to conflict resolution to health. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reasons why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension are largely non-existent in tribal societies, to the surprising cognitive benefits of multilingualism. As Diamond reminds us, the West achieved global dominance due to specific environmental and technological advantages, but Westerners do not necessarily have superior ideas about how to live well. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the influential million-copy-bestseller "Guns, Germs, and Steel", which won Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize and was one of TIME's 100 best non-fiction books of all time, and the no.1 bestseller "Collapse". A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history. "The master storyteller of the human race." (Daily Mail).
Publishers Weekly, 2012-09-17 Lyrical and harrowing, this survey of traditional societies reveals the surprising truth that modern life is a mere snippet in the long narrative of human endeavor. "The hunter-gatherer lifestyle," the author reminds us, "worked at least tolerably well for the nearly 100,000-year history of behaviorally modern humans." Renowned for crafting startling theories across vast swaths of time and territory, Pulitzer Prize-winner Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel) eschews the grand canvas to offer an empathetic portrait of human survival and adaptability. Drawing examples from Africa, Japan, and the Americas, Diamond details the astonishing diversity of human ideas about religion, warfare, child-rearing, eldercare, and dispute resolution. Most of the data comes from New Guinea, which is home to some of the last primeval peoples on Earth. The author has been conducting fieldwork on the Pacific island for half a century and writes about its cultures and ecology with palpable affection. This book presents a lifetime of distilled experience but offers no simple lessons. Neither the first world nor tribal cultures possesses a monopoly on virtue. The cruelty of such traditional practices as infanticide and revenge killings is offset by the ennui and atomization of modern life. A world without Internet, television, and books, without lawyers, heart attacks, or cancer-for better and worse this was the world until "yesterday." 16 pages of 4-color insert. Agent: John Brockman. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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