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Guns, Germs and Steel Audiobook

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies

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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3352 )
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4.1 (2823 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brian 03-17-17
    Brian 03-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great pair with the dictators handbook"

    Pair this with the dictators handbook and you can understand much of why human societies are the way they are. Great book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 03-05-17
    Dan 03-05-17 Member Since 2017
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    "An excellent purchase"
    If you could sum up Guns, Germs and Steel in three words, what would they be?

    This book was recommended by Gwynne Dyer in an interview with Dan Carlin on a podcast from Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. It is an excellent explanation of why the European world was successful in dominating the modern era and why other cultures were not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Farmer Warren, AR 03-04-17
    Steven Farmer Warren, AR 03-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Best book on history ever"

    Learn why things are the way they are. Why races aren't superior to one another. And how history is almost a science.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anson L. Thaggard 02-27-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Worth "wade""

    First couple of chapters are slow as they just outline what is to come. The author then systematically goes through the process of the development of society from an evolutionary standpoint.

    The principles and patterns are repeated with each section of the book.

    I like that it made me think more deeply about many things I would ordinarily take for granted. For example, hunting/gathering as opposed to early food production was really a matter of expediency rather than an inevitable progression.

    I also like the discussion of plant domestication and the many considerations of what makes a particular plant useful and domesticable. The author goes deep into such minutia but it is worth the wade in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-14-17
    Rebecca Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Interesting information, but too repetitive."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not as an audiobook, but I would as a Kindle book or paper book. I liked the information in it, but I just felt the same points were iterated too many times, so I'd like to keep the information while having an easier format to skip ahead with. If the author would go through with an editorial team and cut out some of this repetition that would be even better, and I'd feel much better about the audio version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Guns, Germs and Steel?

    I can't pinpoint one particular moment. Being the kind of nonfiction it is, it's not exactly built up to a memorable denouement. I felt like Diamond laid out his case logically and brought the threads together well, though.


    What aspect of Doug Ordunio’s performance would you have changed?

    I don't know what I would have changed; I felt Ordunio's performance was adequate; neither annoying or perfectly suited. The narration seemed a little stilted, perhaps, and it was hard for me to get drawn in.


    Was Guns, Germs and Steel worth the listening time?

    Not really. I am normally not a fan of abridgment, but this is a rare case where I feel it would be beneficial. Many times, especially during the last 6-7 chapters I could have told you what the narrator was going to say before he said it. It was kind of the same information from the earlier chapters slightly reworded and applied in a slightly different context. I felt the author did such a good job on those concepts earlier, that much of the last part of the book was redundant. There were a few elements of the last section that were independently worthwhile, but I feel like with clever editorial choices those could have been incorporated in shorter form in different parts of the book. Honestly, I think the whole thing could have been about 30 percent shorter and still made its case admirably.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bavo 02-10-17
    Bavo 02-10-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Intriguing, encompassing and thorough."

    Great narration of an at first glance dry topic, that grows more interesting with every page. It takes a step back from normal history and tried to get a birds eye view of the patterns of population growth, technology and conquest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Giovanni Focaraccio 02-08-17
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    "A robust academic rebuttal to racism"

    A clear argument against any notion that one race is inherently superior to another. Exquisitely illustrates how early physical environmental factors had a snowball effect ultimately resulting in the state of nations we see today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rce2md 02-05-17
    rce2md 02-05-17 Member Since 2014
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    "details details. lots of facts. unbeliresour"

    amazing descriptions of all the continents. facts are amazing. it's amazing me easy description of Africa vs Europe

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EDWARD Coralville, IA, United States 02-03-17
    EDWARD Coralville, IA, United States 02-03-17 Member Since 2015
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    "a must for understanding history and modern times"

    such inspiring, interesting, connective material. chock full of information, I had to slow down the reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sasha 01-30-17
    Sasha 01-30-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Very, very dry"

    This is by far the driest book I have ever tried to listen to. I am very interested in the subject matter, but it reads like a text book. I would recommend listening to Sapiens instead - it's a fascinating read and is also about human history and development.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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