Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies Audiobook | Jared Diamond | Audible.com
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Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies | [Jared Diamond]

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies

Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.
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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 1998

Guns, Germs and Steel examines the rise of civilization and the issues its development has raised throughout history.

Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology. Diamond also dissects racial theories of global history, and the resulting work—Guns, Germs and Steel—is a major contribution to our understanding the evolution of human societies.

©1997 Jared Diamond (P)2011 Random House

What Members Say

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3.9 (709 )
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  •  
    Rodger Ramsey Tomball, TX United States 01-12-13
    Rodger Ramsey Tomball, TX United States 01-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Want Credit Back"
    What was most disappointing about Jared Diamond’s story?

    Author has an axe to grind.... a steel one. Too much liberal speak "inequality of civilizations, etc....". No matter how much you talk about it, a civilization living in grass huts without a written language etc. is not "equal" to a developed nation with running water, written history, etc. And it is not because the developed nation plunderred and unjustly subjugated the civilization in grass huts.

    Want my money back.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Montreal, QC, Canada 11-26-12
    Paul Montreal, QC, Canada 11-26-12
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    "Great book, not the best reading"
    If you could sum up Guns, Germs and Steel in three words, what would they be?

    This book really gives you a good sense of the forces behind the destiny of different cultures on earth: why some have developed into powerful colonialist nations, and others never even developed agriculture. Jared Diamond is very thorough and convincing, although by three-quarters through you pretty much get the point and it kinda feels like he's bashing you over the heahead with his argument, but it's still kinda fun.


    What didn’t you like about Doug Ordunio’s performance?

    I felt like at times the reader didn't fully understand what he was reading. Occasionally the cadence of a sentence will sit in a weird spot and you kinda have to repeat it to yourself to fully understand what the author meant. This makes the engaging and otherwise fully accessible text a little hard to digest.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine D. Schafer Carneys Point, NJ 09-21-12
    Catherine D. Schafer Carneys Point, NJ 09-21-12 Member Since 2008

    Truck Driver

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    "Bloody wonderful!"
    What did you love best about Guns, Germs and Steel?

    Jared Diamond is amazing. He takes highly complex issues and describes them with prose that imply simplicity and dignity. He makes complex and difficult social issues understandable to people like me.


    What other book might you compare Guns, Germs and Steel to and why?

    I purchased this audio book based on an Audible recommendation. I subsequently purchased all other works he has authored on Amazon.


    Which character – as performed by Doug Ordunio – was your favorite?

    The narration is neutral. That is how it should be.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    NAT GEO already did. The tag line from that should be: READ THE BOOK!


    Any additional comments?

    He simplifies complex scientific thinking without diluting the important facts.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Abilene, TX, United States 02-22-12
    Joseph Abilene, TX, United States 02-22-12
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    "Like a spoon...long with no point"
    Would you try another book from Jared Diamond and/or Doug Ordunio?

    This book was impossible because it had almost no direction. It jumps from subject to subject. Typical professorial rambling. (I'm a professor. I can spot it from a mile away.)


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carroll Alexandria, VA, United States 04-08-14
    Carroll Alexandria, VA, United States 04-08-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Insightful & thought provoking..."

    Much as his TV shows & interviews, this is a logical trek thru what separated various parts of human evolution…. while not politically correct to some, it is a useful piece to place historical changes in context…. well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    taylor storey California/China 03-19-14
    taylor storey California/China 03-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Strong 3 Stars!"

    I'm going with a strong 3 stars. This book was well researched. The kind of book that your professors want you to write. Very logical, with each point being addressed, and an 'area for further study' at the end of the book. He is a professor at UCLA...so it kinda feels like a dissertation...definitely more readable than that, but tedious for the average reader like myself.

    Jared Diamond has lived a really interesting, global life. While in New Guinea a young politician asked him "why do you have cargo and we don't?" Cargo meaning stuff, boats, technology, etc. Diamond boils this down to the most essential advantages the Europeans had that others did not: Guns, Germs and Steel.

    Then he asks, why did the Europeans get guns, germs and steel and not people from other places?

    Then you have lots and lots and lots of information that I mostly got lost in...and you realize he's saying: Geography. The geography of places led to them having 'advantages' in moving towards settled societies with technology and literacy and food crops. ...My professors at Jerusalem University College would love that.

    This book is especially valuable because the subconsciously assumed answer to the question of why one race has more cargo is generally that certain races are more superior in some way, but he's saying no and giving a good, well thought out reason for this. This book will make subsequent history books better. For the average reader, you could probably get away with reading the intro and the conclusion...that's mostly what I will remember.

    It is a huuuuge undertaking to answer the question of how everything happened and became the way it did and he does it in about as concise a manner as I can imagine anybody doing...but still, for my desires, it was still too scientific feeling and not enough stories. I would have liked it if it followed a few biographies or something. Too tedious for me. Maybe I need to read a bit more around the topic and then come back to it.

    I did like when he dabbled in Linguistic history, I think I have a little connection to that having studied a few languages and asking a few questions in that realm. I listened to this on audiobook and my ears perked up when he started making those connections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 05-17-13
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Eh. . . Not so Much"

    Too much conjecture and speculation laid out as fact. Of course this is the nature of evolutionary science so that much is to be expected, but this goes beyond the norm.

    It may be too that I expected too much from this book. This is of course a very well known book of great critical acclaim, but it just doesn't measure up to the reputation.

    I'm still scratching my head as to how this book came to be so highly regarded. I made it through the first half but I was just getting so little out of this I had to try and salvage my time and just push stop.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jens v?xj?Sweden 05-01-13
    Jens v?xj?Sweden 05-01-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Good listen, good basic, good in-depth"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Guns, Germs and Steel to be better than the print version?

    Hard to say. I have read the book and remember that I keept going back and forth in the book to check facts and to compare when the author referenced to earlier wrtitings in the book. That is a tad harder/cumbersum to do with the audiobook. Having read the book for three years ago I didnät feel the need to go back and forth though.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are several scenes when Jarrod puts our world in perspective using different naturetribes ho been working with as examples.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book didn't touch my heart, it did touch my brain though.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it to get a firmer ground to stand in both the evolution and history of mankind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paris pete fairfield, ct USA 03-11-13
    paris pete fairfield, ct USA 03-11-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascinating but a bit dense."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I picked up some valuable general concepts. But the level of detail became overwhelming. And the presentation was mediocre. Eventually the book became a bit tedious.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Jared Diamond? Why or why not?

    Not an enthusiastic 'yes.' Just - maybe.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader went through the rather dense material in this book at an unrelenting, and a bit-too-fast, pace. I would describe his delivery style as a monotone which, combined with the denseness of the material, made the audio hard to listen to for extended periods.


    Could you see Guns, Germs and Steel being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    A TV series, yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Mulhair Bremerton, WA 02-04-13
    T. Mulhair Bremerton, WA 02-04-13

    Navy Subwife

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    "Great story not based on Theology"
    What made the experience of listening to Guns, Germs and Steel the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed listening to this story not based on Theology and instead on factual findings.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I am little boring so this is unfair but when the wife cracked the husband over the head for his admittance to something he had done.....yes I laughed.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was used for help in my Religion and Culture class.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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