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

by Jared Diamond

Other authors: Mie Hidle (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Civilizations Rise and Fall (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
21,462320119 (4.12)573
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)
Recently added by036699, DaleCarney, LasellVillage, private library, Marina_Cezar, LibraryCake, RichardCox, ejmw, ImaginarySpace
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 140
    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (infiniteletters)
  2. 122
    1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann (VisibleGhost, electronicmemory)
  3. 94
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (Percevan)
  4. 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)
  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. 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.
  7. 40
    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Percevan)
    Percevan: Both books are eminently throwing light on the big lines in human history
  8. 30
    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
  9. 30
    Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today by David P. Clark (infiniteletters)
  10. 20
    The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby (John_Vaughan)
  11. 20
    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.
  12. 20
    The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry by Bryan Sykes (Percevan)
  13. 10
    The Physics of Life: The Evolution of Everything by Adrian Bejan (br77rino)
  14. 10
    The horse, the wheel and language by David W. Anthony (tcg17321)
  15. 10
    Understanding China: Learning from China's Past, Present, and Future by Stefan Piech (frenchkisses, Anonymous user)
  16. 10
    Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade (IslandDave)
  17. 10
    Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths (hohlwelt)
    hohlwelt: Complements very well with what Jared Diamond misses and vice versa.
  18. 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.
  19. 43
    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
  20. 00
    Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich (Cynfelyn)
    Cynfelyn: Who We Are and How We Got Here (2018) is a genetic interpretation successor to the cultural interpretation of Guns, Germs and Steel (1997).

(see all 26 recommendations)

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» See also 573 mentions

English (295)  Italian (9)  Dutch (7)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (319)
Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
I love Jared Diamond, despite my review. Although the books was enlightening and interesting, once I read a few chapters, it became monotonous. ( )
  GiGiGo | Feb 5, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
This book is really interesting. I was already familiar with a lot of the evolutionary and biological history and theory used in the book but I found the specific history of mankind and how it fit in with the biology very fascinating. Although this book is supposedly for the masses it can get pretty intense and almost tedious sometimes...you just gotta keep plowing through. ( )
  mcsp | Jan 26, 2021 |
The book sets out to answer a simple enough sounding question: why is it that Eurasian and North African societies were able to culturally take over the world while indigenous civilizations succumbed to them? It is easy to attribute the priors successes to the false assumption of superior intelligence or genetics. In fact, it is largely due to environmental differences which allowed these societies to profit of land which yielded more nutritious crop and allowed for herding animals: a prerequisite for societies to expand past hunter-gatherer tribes thereby allowing for greater technological advancements. The book tells many tales of pre-historic migrations, medieval conquests, and even first encounters with modern day indigenous tribes. ( )
  hiwigiwi | Jan 8, 2021 |
If someone told me this book is the manual Sid Meyer read to create the game rules for Civilization, I'd buy it.
The author has a simple thesis: the differences between world's peoples comes from geography, and not from characteristics inherent to peoples themselves. The chapters contain arguments from archeology, biology, anthropology and even linguistics to support this thesis, as well as graphs, maps and diagrams that help visualize the information. ( )
  ladyars | Jan 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 295 (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 (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jared Diamondprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mie HidleTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cavalli-Sforza, Francescosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi L.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chueca, FabiánTranslatorsecondary 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)
A suitable starting point from which to compare historical developments on the different continents is around 11,000 B.C.
Yali's question went to the heart of the current human condition, and of post-Pleistocene history. (Epilogue)
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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.

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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 .
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W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393317552, 0393061310

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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