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 loved every second of this book. It is very detail oriented and Diamond explains thousands of years in a very short amount of time. There's no hyperbole, embellishment and only evidence based conclusions. The performance is perfectly fine. I feel others having trouble with the work (it's boring, not performed well, etc) are due to the book was written to be read, not listened to. Also, if you've rabidly lived your life believing as a white European (or descendant) you are superior to everyone else on the planet, this book will succinctly challenge that assumption. Jared Diamond is brilliant.
This was a great story giving detailed information about human society and evolution throughout the world. Jared Diamond goes into great depth about geographical locations and food production giving rise to complex and powerful societies. His thesis revolves around why white Europeans came to conquer and control most of the modern world and how it happened. While I do not agree with everything he says, and I feel that some of his research is a bit out of date at this point, he does spend a lot of time and effort rigorously vetting his theories. If you like this empirical approach of analyzing human history and social sciences from antiquity to the modern era I would highly recommend purchasing Before the Dawn by Nicolas Wade. Wade references a lot of Diamond's work in his book while offering new and improved genetic data to help paint a clearer picture of human history.
Diamond supports his core argument with a wealth of information, but devoting so many pages to the same argument dilutes the potency.
The recording quality of the narrator was poor and Ordunio has little color in his voice.
This book should be mandatory reading for secondary / high school reading. Dispels many myths held over from blatantly racist / imperialistic doctrine.
Very well researched, thought out and put together.
Again, Guns, Germs and Steel is necessary for our modern society.
very much enjoyed. interesting and thorough. my kid said the narrator sounded odd but I didn't notice. the depth of coverage of the subject can get a little wearing to listen to.
Could have been shorter. Alot of the points could be made in shorter words. I enjoyed the parts about written language the most.
This is a great and thought provoking book, just what I've come to appreciate and expect from Jared Diamond.
Unfortunately, the narration is so dull it makes it incredibly difficult to keep engaged with the story. His voice is monotone and devoid of meaningful inflections, and throaty, I keep waiting for him to clear his throat, it turns this in to a very dry listen. Significantly reduces my enjoyment of this incredible book.
Hike and Paddle Guide
This question is a fallacy of Faulty Comparison. I have both the print version and the Audio book. The print I make notes in and the Audio version I listen to at work.
Jared Diamond - Because learning and Science rocks, and Professor Diamond (if a title other than Professor applies I apologize in advance, I don't know it.) is able to take complex subject and synthesize it into a very readable format while still making his point without academic obfuscation. Guns Germs and Steel - made me think about the way our world works and allowed me to observe and test some of my preconceived notions on society and how it works. As a side note - Guns, Germs and Steel pairs excellently with Francis Fukuyama's book on Political order. Read them back to back, and for a bit of a mind bender. Guns Germs and Steel is a must read, and must re-read.
Easy to listen to. I will forever relate him to the Author in presentation.
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.
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