I absolutely enjoyed this book, when I would stop listening I couldn't wait until I started again. He has some very interesting theories and facts that are presented in an enjoyable educational way. Although some of the theories presented I don't agree with, he does list some important things to think about. If you are fascinated by culture, and want to understand the history of humans this is a good place to start.
Great topic, and often keen insights and information. However, the book seemed overly politically correct (Euroean cultures always bad, "indigenous" cultures (not clearly defined i.e. is a culture indigenous if the peoples were there 100 years prior to the next peoples? 500 years? 5,000?) always good.
The worked seemed tedious at times, and often in an apparent attempt to justify a preconceived conclusion.
I have tried several times to read this book so it was time to listen to it on audible. I am afraid my original impressions were right, this is a fascinating subject but written in a boring manner. Aspects and some hypotheses are intriguing although at times naive. Anyway I feel gratified I have finisihed with it ~ why on earth is listed as a best seller, did everyone else read it or just leave it on their shelves?
This author wants to point out SEVERAL times that he is trying to be non biased, but it is just overkill. The rest of the book is very interesting though.
I am sure this book is good for the academic. Sometimes it is even funny. But the narration style is monotonous, giving few clues to what the content means from a human perspective. This is not audio material.
It was so bad, that the end of the book came completely as a surprise, and left me wondering WHAT WAS the POINT?
Worse, it left me with WHO CARES?
Not I, not after listening for all those hours.
"Instead, it might very well be that once the civilizational process is begun, there emerges a feedback effect, which by making the more intelligent in each generation more fit for reproduction, gradually increases the overall cognitive ability of the peoples inhabiting the evolving civilisations. Being smart in civilization is beneficial for your chances of reproducing yourself, and so the smarties get more numerous. Mr. Diamond doesn't see this."
Our intelligence evolved in pre-civilized societies. In civilizations, it does not require intelligence to reproduce. In today's world, those who are uneducated and living in poverty are the ones reproducing.