Guns, Germs, and Steel

The Fates of Human Societies

By Jared Diamond; Doug Ordunio (Read by)
(Random House Audio Publishing Group, Compact Disc, 9780307932426)

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

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Description

Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? Evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history’s broadest patterns.

The story begins 13,000 years ago, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Around that time, the paths of development of human societies on different continents began to diverge greatly. Early domestication of wild plants and animals in the Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and other areas gave peoples of those regions a head start. Only societies that advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage acquired a potential for developing writing, technology, government, and organized religions—as well as those nasty germs and potent weapons of war. It was those societies, that expanded to new homelands at the expense of other peoples. The most familiar examples involve the conquest of non-European peoples by Europeans in the last 500 years, beginning with voyages in search of precious metals and spices, and often leading to invasion of native lands and decimation of native inhabitants.




About the Author
Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. Among his many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by The Rockefeller University. His previous books include "Why Is Sex Fun?", "The Third Chimpanzee", "Collapse", and "Guns, Germs, and Steel", winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE Doug Ordunio was born in Glendale, California in 1950. A student at Glendale College and Cal State Northridge, he majored in musical composition and voice. From 1973-1986 he was the FM Programmer of what was the only commercial classical music station in Los Angeles, KFAC AM-FM. For the last eight years he was a member of the station's prestigious announcing staff. During that time, he produced and hosted some of the most unique programs in the history of the station, including the unusual combination of popular, jazz, classical music and poetry (read by Carl Princi) Global Village, He also hosted the shows At Home With, KFAC Musical Theatre, Crossroads of Music, and the talk show KFAC Artsline. He worked as a professional singer in many churches around Southern California for twenty years. He was also a program annotator who wrote over 300 articles about classical music. His employers in this regard included UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, Ojai Music Festival, Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Ambassador Foundation. His voice has been heard on numerous audiobooks. From 1989-2005, he worked for AEI and DMX Inflight, creating thousands of musical and talk programs for the world's commercial airlines. In 1989, he became the producer of the popular syndicated radio program, The Romantic Hours, hosted by concert pianist Mona Golabek. The show, heard over many stations around the US is a wedding between classical music and romantic love letters/poetry. In 2012, the show still continues Although he began to write poetry in 1981, since 2005, he has devoted himself exclusively to writing. His poetry book, Murmurationis (2012), is available at amazon.com, as well as his saga of four hoboes, RAILS (2009). Crossings was first published in 2011. His novel Sacrifice To Venus appeared in 2012. Liquid Realty, about non-linear and multip[le narrative cinema was published in 2012. Liquid Realty Volume 2 appeared in 2013. Camera Oscura, a bucker lisr of 150-200 films that you (probably missed) but should see for their unusual takes on life and existence will be published in 2013. Last but not least, he designed the website for New Millennium Records, for which he invented The Classroom-an online location where young people can learn the basic rudiments of music in over 100 rooms of images, audio, and text. http: //www.newmillenniumrecords.com/classroom.html
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