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
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.
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.
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.
I believe that the scientific/mechanistic approach represents the most powerful tool humans have stumbled upon so far!
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...
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.
I enjoyed listening to Doug.
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
The subject of this book is very interesting and the conclusion the author reaches is quite novel, however the book is way too long. The author keeps repeating the same ideas over and over without any practical need. I would say it's enough to read (listen) the last chapter to get 85% of the information.
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