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Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. Yet his survey is binocular: one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye--and his heart--belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work for more than 30 years. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Most of this work deals with non-Europeans, but Diamond's thesis sheds light on why Western civilization became hegemonic: "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves." Those who domesticated plants and animals early got a head start on developing writing, government, technology, weapons of war, and immunity to deadly germs. (LJ 2/15/97)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Worst writing style. This book is so over written and unnecessarily redundant. The points made could be made more clearly concise with about half of the text used. Read morePublished 5 days ago by V.O.A.
Informative description of the reasons for some societies advancing more rapidly than others. For example, why did the Spanish conquer the Aztecs in the sixteenth century and not... Read morePublished 6 days ago by RandyM
If you are into history this is fascinating, why some civilizations succeed and others fail. The sequel is just as good, why do civilizations fail.Published 10 days ago by Diana
The general premise of the book is interesting, and worth reading for that. However, by the time I was halfway finished with it, it seems to drag on. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Eric Melillo
An uneven work, alternately brilliant and encompassing, dodgy, thinly sourced, weakly supported and argued. His basic thesis is sound. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Ashby Manson