Guns, Germs, and Steel

The Fates of Human Societies

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

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Hardcover, Paperback, Prebound, Compact Disc

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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, professor of geography at the University of California at Los Angeles, is the author of the bestselling Collapse and The Third Chimpanzee. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. Diamond has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.




NPR
Monday, Sep 3, 2012

Freshmen "common reads" are becoming increasingly popular at American colleges and universities. One of the more popular common read assignments is Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Originally broadcast on Sept. 8, 2011. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Thursday, Sep 8, 2011

Many colleges have adopted a "common reads" program, where freshmen read the same book during the summer and then discuss it when they get to campus. Jared Diamond, author of the popular common read Guns, Germs, and Steel, talks about what his book can offer young readers. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

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