The broadest pattern of human history consists of the differences that emerged prehistorically in rates of human development on different continents, ...Show synopsisThe broadest pattern of human history consists of the differences that emerged prehistorically in rates of human development on different continents, and that led to today's inequalities. This book abandons the conventional distinctions between history and science. By focusing on what ancient peoples were endowed with in the way of land, animals and plants, and on the confrontations between less and more advanced peoples, Diamond sheds genuinely new light on the world's most explosive divisions.Hide synopsis
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An insightful, well-written, and logical explanation of the reasons for the global political, economic, and ethnic order that exists today. It is easy to understand how a people that settled in the 'fertile cresent', with its climate and abundant natural resources in domesticable plants and animals, would be one that flourished along that particular lattitude. Increased population density in a rich environment was bound to give an advantage to such a civilization.
This book has been praised by many (including Bill Gates!), received several awards, and was serialized in PBS. I may play here the role of the simpleton who screamed that the Emperor had no clothes on his august person. So be it!
As I see it, the author has used some 500 pages to present his thesis that the world domination once achieved by the Europeans and their descendants was not the product of superior intelligence, fearless determination, or incredible stoicism in the face of adversity. No. It was derived from the fact that they had more food available to them (even though the Incas were well fed, and there was more starvation in Europe than in the Mexico of the Aztecs). Also, according to the author, the Europeans were resistant to infectious diseases, an affirmation that may astonish anyone with minimal knowledge of medical history.
The author goes far in slighting the achievements of the Europeans. Here is an example, Mr. Diamond contrast the 400 feet-long Chinese vessels of the 1400s against their contemporary, ?puny? (his word) ships of Columbus. It seems not to matter that the portentous Chinese float achieved nothing, while the ?puny? vessels of Columbus changed the history of the world.
The simpleton has spoken.
Jared Diamond takes you through every conceivable nook and cranny of man's so-called evolution. Far from taking the stance that humans of European decent are smarter or "more advanced" because they're just biologically better than everyone else, he shows us just how we earthlings have advanced because of our surroundings... not because of what's inside our craniums. I cannot recommend it enough. Next on my list is his book 'Collapse'.
Guns, Germs and Steel was recommended to Shawnee State University, by Prof. Mark Mirabello, for inclusion in its Foundations of Social Sciences course - SOSC1110-01. Some college text books can be dry, but this book was fascinating. It provided a look at the world's history through new and focused eyes. Revealing answers to questions long since ask and forgotten. Answers as to why and how racism started in the first place, why some people are bless, while others seem forgotten and why the world's countries are unequal in wealth.
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