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Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

Author: Jared M Diamond
Publisher: New York : Norton, 1999.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The question motivating the book is: Why did history unfold differently on different continents? In case this question immediately makes you shudder at the thought that you are about to read a racist treatise, you aren't as you will see, the answers to the question don't involve human racial differences at all. The book's emphasis  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jared M Diamond
ISBN: 0393317552 9780393317558
OCLC Number: 61484921
Notes: Afterword dated 2003: cf. p. 426.
Awards: Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 1998.
Description: 494 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: Yali's question: The regionally differing courses of history --
From Eden to Cajamarca. Up to the starting line: What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.? --
A natural experiment of history: How geography molded societies on Polynesian islands --
Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain --
The rise and spread of food production. Farmer power: The roots of guns, germs, and steel --
History's haves and have-nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food production --
To farm or not to farm: Causes of the spread of food production --
How to make an almond: The unconscious development of ancient crops --
Apples or Indians: Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants? --
Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? --
Spacious skies and tilted axes: Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents? --
From food to guns, germs, and steel. Lethal gift of livestock: The evolution of germs --
Blueprints and borrowed letters: The evolution of writing --
Necessity's mother: The evolution of technology --
From egalitarianism to kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religion --
Around the world in five chapters. Yali's people: The histories of Australia and New Guinea --
How China became Chinese: The history of East Asia --
Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of Austronesian expansion --
Hemispheres colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared --
How Africa became black: The history of Africa --
The future of human history as a science --
2003 afterword: Guns, germs, and steel today.
Responsibility: Jared Diamond ; [with a new afterword about the modern world].

Abstract:

This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The question motivating the book is: Why did history unfold differently on different continents? In case this question immediately makes you shudder at the thought that you are about to read a racist treatise, you aren't as you will see, the answers to the question don't involve human racial differences at all. The book's emphasis is on the search for ultimate explanations, and on pushing back the chain of historical causation as far as possible.

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