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
I learned so much from this book. So many things I have never even thought of but wow was it hard to stay focused I would zone out often.
Many books are very good and some are impressive, but this one is great!
Unfortunately the narrator was completely unable to capture the drama of this book. I read it shortly after it came out in hardback and lent my copy one too many times so I was excited to read it again. This was not the experience I hoped for.
Kon Tiki, Rapa Nui. Similar cultures.
You get the feeling he isn't hearing the words that he is saying.
I do love this book. The ease with which the author relays his information is astounding. When on paper the pages fly by, when narrated it's like setting through a lecture. Such a shame that this book was presented by someone as disinterested as Doug Ordunio.
I think it is mainly the content and writing style- but also the boring monotone narrator (who I sweat suppressed a yawn at times while reading!)- this was painful to listen to and utterly uninteresting! It is even worse than Atlas Shrugged!
This book is extremely informative and educational. I personally learn several things from this book and plan to follow up on several of the topics. Jared Diamond arranged the book in a very great way that makes the book fun to read. And it refers back to several topics previously covered
I had some difficulty staying focused on the subjects due to the fact that the narrator was a bit on the side of sleep inducing. A soothing voice but dry in the reading, often coming across as methodical and like a recitation of facts. Much of the information is interesting but it was hard to stay focused. I think I got about 50% of what the author was saying just due to the dry expression of the narrator.
The first half of the book was interesting as it shed light on the environmental differences of each of the parts of the world and there affect on human history. But the linguistics portion about New Guinea is about as dry as you can make it.
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.
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