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Natural Experiments of History by [Jared Diamond]

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Natural Experiments of History Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

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A superb collection of eminently teachable essays bound together by a common methodological framework that connects it directly to cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research across the disciplines of anthropology, archeology, history, political science, and sociology.
--John Coatsworth, Columbia University

Natural Experiments of History reaches across a wide variety of disciplines, in ways that should be accessible to just about every educated reader. It is tied together not by topic or region but by the idea that we can make useful and insightful comparisons in ways that are not casual or sloppy, but actually contribute to our understanding of human life.
--Jeffry Frieden, Harvard University

Natural Experiments of History is a short book packed with huge ideas. Its collected essays advocate how controlled experiments can be applied to the messy realities of human history, politics, culture, economics and the environment. It demonstrates productive interdisciplinary collaborations but also reveals gulfs between different cultures of academia...All of the essays in Natural Experiments of History will trigger debate.
--Jon Christensen (Nature 2010-03-25)

This ambitious, at times challenging, book aspires to contribute new ways of historical thinking and historical research by drawing attention, on the one hand, to the similarities between science (including social sciences) and history, and on the other, by using social sciences methods, especially statistical analysis, to study history. The editors argue that though the difference between studies of nature and human history is obvious, there are clear overlaps. They can be viewed through studying comparative history or by conducting "natural experiments of history" and analyzing the "perturbations" and their causes (exogenous or endogenous) in the involved cases. The book offers a broad array of case studies to illustrate and explain the argument, ranging from nonliterate to contemporary societies and from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to Brazil, India, and tropical Africa. The comparative methods showcased are quite versatile, from two-way to multiple-way comparisons. All the case studies are interesting and help demonstrate how, via comparative study, one society's, region's, or country's situation is better displayed and explained by juxtaposing it with other, similar ones. A useful read in macro, global history.
--Q. E. Wang (Choice 2010-11-01)

Natural Experiments of History is a thought-provoking collection of essays that covers an impressive array of topics and would make an excellent text for a course on comparative studies of human history."
--Thomas E. Currie (Cliodynamics) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles. His books include Guns, Germs, and Steel. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
25 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2010
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Top international reviews

christiaan hesse-nassau
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2015
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Joshua Hruzik
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice high level overview of Natural Experiments
Reviewed in Germany on December 22, 2019
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Giacomo
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting inter-disciplinary reading
Reviewed in Italy on March 20, 2017
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D. Signer
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning about our future through historical events
Reviewed in Germany on May 2, 2018
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Dani Gover
5.0 out of 5 stars inconditionnel de Jared Diamonds...
Reviewed in France on January 12, 2015
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松下重悳
4.0 out of 5 stars 歴史が偶然に行った7つの社会実験を例示
Reviewed in Japan on June 8, 2010
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Grover Vee
1.0 out of 5 stars For academics only!
Reviewed in Canada on January 3, 2011
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