Don't waste your money on this book. I want my mine back. Possibly the most boring book ever written! It reads like a stuffy dissertation with highly specialized, yet remarkably vague and over-generalized language. The total absence of specific examples or practical application put me to sleep within 15 minutes. Each time I plunged in, looking for a new chapter with something, anything, interesting I immediately fell back into deep sleep. Fortunately, I also purchased Diamond's 2-volume book on the rise and fall of civilizations, and so far I'm finding it, yes, somewhat interesting!!
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.