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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human…

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Jared Diamond

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,342226107 (4.14)415
Title:Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Authors:Jared Diamond
Info:W W Norton & Co Inc (1999), Edition: First Edition, Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (1997)

  1. 120
    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (infiniteletters)
  2. 112
    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann (VisibleGhost, electronicmemory)
  3. 51
    The wealth and poverty of nations : why some are so rich and some so poor by David S. Landes (Oct326)
    Oct326: La tesi centrale del saggio di Diamond è che la causa dominante dei disuguali gradi di sviluppo tra popolazioni umane sia data dalle condizioni ambientali più o meno favorevoli. Il saggio di Landes ha un argomento un po' differente, e cioè il disuguale grado di sviluppo economico e di ricchezza tra popolazioni. Ma sulle cause di queste differenze è più articolato, e mette in rilievo l'importanza dei fattori culturali. È un punto di vista piuttosto diverso, e questo rende interessante il confronto tra le due opere.… (more)
  4. 40
    The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan (one-horse.library)
  5. 41
    Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris (night_sky)
    night_sky: Marvin Harris does not have the same "take" on history as Jared Diamond, but if you're interested in other viewpoints (and Harris, to me, makes some incredibly good points) try Harris' book (any of his, in fact)
  6. 30
    Maps of Time : An Introduction to Big History by David Christian (questbird)
    questbird: Big History is a multidisciplinary approach (like Diamond's) which integrates the origin of the universe, deep time, human prehistory and history.
  7. 20
    The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community by William H. McNeill (wildbill)
    wildbill: William McNeill chronicles the struggle between nomad and sedentary peoples in a book that continues the themes of Guns, Germs and Steel
  8. 42
    The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker (Percevan)
    Percevan: Both books are eminently throwing light on the big lines in human history
  9. 20
    Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today by David P. Clark (infiniteletters)
  10. 20
    The American Plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  11. 53
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (Percevan)
  12. 10
    Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade (IslandDave)
  13. 10
    Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve by Steven M. Stanley (br77rino)
    br77rino: Children of the Ice Age is an excellent anthropological discussion of the link that became homo sapiens. Guns, Germs, and Steel covers the more recent territory of racial evolution within homo sapiens.
  14. 10
    From dawn to decadence : 500 years of western cultural life : 1500 to the present by Jacques Barzun (MusicMom41)
    MusicMom41: Guns, Germs and Steel makes a great “prelude’ to Barzun’s book From Dawn to Decadence.
  15. 00
    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu (Serviette, longway)
  16. 00
    Eden in the East: The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia by Stephen Oppenheimer (night_sky)
    night_sky: Diamond and Oppenheimer are diametrically opposed on several points (Diamond works with the linguist that Oppenheimer disagrees with), but I like the point by point defense Oppenheimer makes.
  17. 00
    Stolen Continents: The "New World" Through Indian Eyes by Ronald Wright (rakerman)
    rakerman: Also see Ronald Wright's Stolen Continents for another angle on the Americas.
  18. 00
    A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright (thebookpile)
  19. 00
    Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths (hohlwelt)
    hohlwelt: Complements very well with what Jared Diamond misses and vice versa.
  20. 00
    The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes (Percevan)

(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 415 mentions

English (209)  Dutch (5)  Italian (5)  Swedish (3)  French (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
A sensible and entertaining look at why the West has come to dominate recent world history. ( )
  ehines | Jul 7, 2014 |
Great in-depth look at how humans spread over the plant and why some groups prospered and others failed. ( )
1 vote vdunn | Apr 30, 2014 |
Makes you think, in entirely new directions, and there is no prize above that for an author. ( )
  thejazzmonger | Apr 21, 2014 |
A very good book, with fascinating and convincing concepts, somewhat marred (particularly towards the end) by excessive repetition. It seems he took the advice to "tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them" a little too much to heart. The last two chapters, in particular, replicate his arguments about the east-west expanse of Eurasia being one of the major factors in its quick advance almost word-for-word - between the chapters, and from the early presentation of the idea and the more detailed discussion of it in the middle of the book (several times, with different supporting evidence). It got positively boring, which is not what I expected from the earlier parts of the book. I'm not sure I precisely agree with him - wish there were more controls, like another east-west expanse (apparently Australia doesn't count because it's too small). It's awfully easy to find reasons why things turned out the way they did - what's hard is determining the real reasons. Diamond presents good arguments for his chosen factors, and they seem reasonable at least at the grand-sweep level of detail he presents, but I'd like to see more evidence and more possibilities. Why did every continent except Eurasia lose most of its large fauna at the end of the Ice Age? He suggests it's because the Eurasian animals had had more contact with man and knew to avoid him (in a single mention early on - after that the fact of the extinctions is accepted without discussing the why). It may be that we'll never know the answer, or there is no answer - just chance. Diamond, at the very least, raised some very good questions, and knocked holes in quite a few racist arguments. Interesting, and I may reread - but if I do, I think I'll skim the last few chapters at most, and possibly skip them entirely. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 10, 2014 |
A good book, I throurly enjoied his way of thinking and ansering a question, simple as it was. The focus on south-east aisa was a focus on a area of the world frenquently passed over until european arrival.

5/5 stars ( )
  Colin5038 | Feb 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
In ''Guns, Germs, and Steel,'' an ambitious, highly important book, Jared Diamond asks: How did Pizarro come to be at Cajamarca capturing Atahualpa, instead of Atahualpa in Madrid capturing King Charles I? Why, indeed, did Europeans (and especially western Europeans) and Asians always triumph in their historical conquests of other populations? Why weren't Native Americans, Africans and aboriginal Australians instead the ones who enslaved or exterminated the Europeans?
Jared Diamond has written a book of remarkable scope: a history of the world in less than 500 pages which succeeds admirably, where so many others have failed, in analysing some of the basic workings of cultural process. . . It is willing to simplify and to generalize; and it does reach conclusions, about ultimate as well as proximate causes, that carry great conviction, and that have rarely, perhaps never, been stated so coherently or effectively before. For that reason, and with few reservations, this book may be welcomed as one of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years.
added by jlelliott | editNature, Colin Renfrew (Mar 27, 1997)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jared Diamondprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cavalli-Sforza, Francescosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cavalli-Sforza, Lucasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi L.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Civalleri, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johansson, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Esa, Kariniga, Omwai, Paran, Sauakari, Wiwor, and all my other New Guinea friends and teachers - masters of a difficult environment.
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This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. (Preface to the Paperback Edition)
We all know that history has proceeded very differently for peoples from different parts of the globe. (Prologue to the Hardback Edition)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393061310, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way in which the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be."--BOOK JACKET.

(summary from another edition)

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Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393317552, 0393061310


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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