Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

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

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

by Jared Diamond

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,068249103 (4.13)446
  1. 130
    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
    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.
  5. 40
    The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan (TomWaitsTables)
  6. 30
    Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today by David P. Clark (infiniteletters)
  7. 74
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (Percevan)
  8. 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)
  9. 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
  10. 20
    The American Plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 10
    The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes (Percevan)
  14. 10
    Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade (IslandDave)
  15. 10
    From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun (MusicMom41)
    MusicMom41: Guns, Germs and Steel makes a great “prelude’ to Barzun’s book From Dawn to Decadence.
  16. 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.
  17. 00
    Four Thousand Years Ago by Geoffrey Bibby (nessreader)
  18. 00
    Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu (Serviette, longway)
  19. 00
    Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect by Paul R. Ehrlich (bookcrushblog)
  20. 00
    Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths (hohlwelt)
    hohlwelt: Complements very well with what Jared Diamond misses and vice versa.

(see all 23 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 446 mentions

English (231)  Italian (7)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (249)
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Guns, Germs and Steal can best be described as a world history textbook. Instead of being separated,by time period it was organized by geographical location of civilization. This glorified textbook is dreary, incredibly boring and lacks all excitement. That is if not accompanied by note taking or another method to keep the reader awake and more importantly alive, it serves little purpose besides, being educational. The novel was filled with a great amount of information, dates, cultural explanations and historical context. But, this doesn't draw from the fact that it is exclusively read for educational purpose and not one's enjoyment. Unless your purpose is to advance you knowledge in world history, which it excels in, this book is little more than a cure to insomnia. ( )
  Mikayla_Hubner | Nov 3, 2015 |
history, geology, agriculture, civilization, society, religion, evolution, hunter, gatherer, culture, progress, weapons
  aidenella | Sep 7, 2015 |
Jared Diamond has pulled off a startling amalgamation of Bill Bryson's 'Short History of Nearly Everything' and Jacob Bronowski's 'The Ascent of Man'. He writes with great clarity and illuminates a number of turning points while seeking to explain why some societies around the world achieved ascendancy over others.

Diamond's principal hypothesis is that until around 11,000 BC all of the fledgling societies scattered around the globe were on a roughly equal footing, struggling to get by as hunter-gatherers. From that time onwards, different groups started to move towards a more structured mode of agriculture featuring the domestication of livestock and the ability to regulate arable crops. Throughout the book he stops to ask why it was that the European nations colonised Afria, Asia and the Americas, rather than the other way around. Why were those European states able to establish their supremacy?

The dreadful impact of diseases prevalent among Europeans upon the new societies that they encountered throughout the New World and Australasia is well documented. Diamond asserts that some of that contagion was initially contracted from the livestock that formed the basis of their sustaining agriculture. Diamond explores these issues with a mixture of history, archaeology and anthropology, drawing evidence from all around the world.

These are not areas that I know much, if anything, about, and I found Diamond's book completely engrossing. I might question some of his conclusions, but they are all soundly constructed, and liable to provoke lively debate. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Aug 29, 2015 |
Diamond takes an evolutionary approach to the advancement of conquering cultures through the rapid advancement of crop cultivation, domestic animals, and survival of the fittest through disease. Unfortunately, it is in desperate need of an editor. Hundreds of pages should have been cut or redesigned. The last three chapters alone could have been cut to just a few pages. When Guns was first published it was considered quite revolutionary; however, current scholarship has challenged it with a bite. ( )
  revslick | Aug 13, 2015 |
Jarod Diamond examines the question of why are some societies more successful than others. Ultimately, why was it the Europeans who dominated exploration and conquest of the world? Why not China or Africa? Diamond explores the idea of "accidental conquest" based on geographic luck. This informational text is best suited for high school students because of the complexity of ideas. Diamond won the Pulitzer Prize (General Nonfiction) in 1998 for this book and in 1999 and 2004, it was placed on the ALA Outstanding Books for the College Bound list. ( )
  PikeH | Jul 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Esa, Kariniga, Omwai, Paran, Sauakari, Wiwor, and all my other New Guinea friends and teachers - masters of a difficult environment.
First words
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)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Mobilisant des disciplines aussi diverses que la génétique ,l la biologie moléculaire , l'écologie l'écologies des comportements , l'épidémiologie , la linguistique , et l'histoire des civilisations , à l'ère de la globalisaton , Jared Diamond vous propose opportunément cet essai , en tout point singulier ,sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les sociétés .
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. Here, at last, is a world history that really is a history of all the world's peoples, a unified narrative of human life even more intriguing and important than accounts of dinosaurs and glaciers. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be. It is a work rich in dramatic revelations that will fascinate readers even as it challenges conventional wisdom.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
637 wanted
3 pay14 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.13)
0.5 4
1 38
1.5 17
2 111
2.5 38
3 483
3.5 160
4 1350
4.5 204
5 1418


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

See editions

W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393317552, 0393061310


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,852,349 books! | Top bar: Always visible