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Guns, Germs and Steel Audiobook

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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Performance
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  •  
    David 07-18-15
    David 07-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting but excruciatingly detailed"

    The general theories presented in this book are quite interesting and I enjoyed listening to the book, although it was very long. The author does a good job in providing detailed support for the theories, but for readers who are NOT detailed oriented, it can get arduous listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Lyon 07-03-15
    Daniel Lyon 07-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Well worth it."

    I've listened to this several times. It's dry, more like a text book, but very interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Ré 06-03-15
    Jo Ré 06-03-15
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    "Great historical perspective."

    Tons of great information. Skip to chapters 19, 20, 21 for the overall summery .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-07-15
    Jennifer 05-07-15
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    "Interesting take on history"

    Made me wish this was taught in high school instead of what we got in History class. Enlightening and full of surprising details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom NJ, USA 04-01-15
    Tom NJ, USA 04-01-15 Member Since 2013

    sailor tech

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    "Explains How Civilization Succeeds and Why"

    This was a fascinating book on the history of civilizations. If someone holds a prejudice about certain races or people being superior based on the fact that their culture dominated the world, then this book will put a major dent into that thinking. Jared Diamond makes a compelling case that the societies which came to dominate the modern world did so by advantages in their environment.

    Overall, this book helped explain why some societies came to dominate others. It was not due to an innate advantage in intelligence from one population to another. Instead, certain areas of the world were easier to civilize than others. Once a society had the means of producing excess food, civilization could advance. Some people were conquered, while others adapted to new technologies and advanced it themselves.

    I would definitely recommend this book to any reader interested in how today's societies came about. It will help debating racists that claim that one race's conquering another means they are innately superior. For me, this book gave a foundation in early civilizations that is lacking when studying them independently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 03-12-15
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 03-12-15 Member Since 2008

    Nando

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    "Informative and interesting."

    This book could be summarized in a few paragraphs, however it is always interesting to learn about the world from a different perspective. I enjoyed learning why different civilizations reached the status they did and why countries are at different stages of development and/or economy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MI USA 03-12-15
    Amazon Customer MI USA 03-12-15

    Kia Dragon

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    "Crackly audio. Good subject, audio very bad."

    Good book. Audio very faulty. Half way through recording audio crackles and breaks up. Also the narrator is just horrible. Very disappointed by Audible for first time in twenty audio books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Murad Redzheb Leuven, Belgium 01-30-15
    Murad Redzheb Leuven, Belgium 01-30-15 Member Since 2014

    I believe that the scientific/mechanistic approach represents the most powerful tool humans have stumbled upon so far!

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    "The role of the historical sciences"
    What made the experience of listening to Guns, Germs and Steel the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the book very much because of the thinking tools that are presented and utilized. The author's approach to look for (and find) decisive forces/circumstances which shaped human thinking and way of life (i.e. culture) shows the value of the historical sciences to our present day reality. I'd like to see more historical literature with similar presentation instead of the propagandist way in which history (in general) is taught today...


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how Jared Diamond showed the myriad of circumstances necessary in order for humans (regardless of "racial" characteristics) to become inventive and move along the path which has led us to what we call civilization. He showed over and over that our present day reality was not shaped by people on morally higher ground (as surely many believe) but by people who happened to be in the "right" place and time. I very much enjoyed the way Diamond debunked some of the racial arguments still present (maybe even prevailing) in today's society.


    What about Doug Ordunio’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed listening to Doug.


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

    I believe that this book should be read/listened to or at least people should be presented to the ideas of the book so that we can gain better understanding of each others' beliefs and behavior


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chase Courington 01-17-15
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    2
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    "Great but verbose"

    Very interesting. Long winded he tends to harp too long on a topic before moving on. I think it could be told a little quicker.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred 01-05-15
    Fred 01-05-15 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    "Very interesting look through history"

    Really enjoyed this book. At time I was lost in the details, but still really enjoyed it. Hope you do

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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