Hi, I like this book a lot and was wondering if anyone knew of one, similar in style, except covering aspects of human history and development, not necessarily related to the physical sciences. The development of humans and civilizations I mean, in an anthropological and/or evolutionary sense. Through the different ages of human history. (stone, neolithic, bronze age etc.) anybody know? thanks!
Diamond is excellent. But he is not a historian or an anthropologist, and is writing out of his field of expertise. I would also recommend the following...
1) Jacob Bronowski: The Ascent of Man. Read this as part of my world history class freshman year of college. I learned more from the book than the main text.
2) Ian Morris, Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future: Interesting historical look at development of humanity using an innovative "Cultural Development Scale." While it could be better, the book is truly eye opening. The main thesis of the book is that history is the result of several main factors... ===> "Maps, not chaps:" Similar to Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies: Think of the influence of the Mediterranean on the West. There is no comparable body of water for China to exploit. Also geographically driven is the biological distribution of tractable undulates and plants near our Indo-European-Mid Eastern ancestors. ===> "History is made by lazy, greedy individuals who always want more while doing less." Since people are people, be they Irish, English, German,Persian, Hindu, Chinese, Japanese, etc., all are driven by the same motives. If Somehow, we were to go back in time, and move all white people to China, and Chinese to Western Europe, it is likely that the results would be similar.
3) Fernand Braudel, A History of Civilizations: My intro to the mad Frenchman was his "Civilization and Capitalism" during my freshman year in college--light reading for the nerd I was! Those books focused on Europe. "A History of Civilizations," however, broadens the scope, and examines the history from a lot of cultures from a very high level.