'A book of big questions, and big answers' Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of SapiensWITH A NEW AFTERWORD FROM THE AUTHOR Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel remains a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.
This book answers the most obvious, the most important, yet the most difficult question about human history: why history unfolded so differently on different continents. Geography and biography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is one of the most important and humane works of popular science.
Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, the number one international bestseller Collapse and most recently The World UntilYesterday. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.
"The most absorbing account on offer of the emergence of a world divided between have and have-nots... Never before put together so coherently, with such a combination of expertise, charm and compassion" The Times "A book of remarkable scope... One of the most important and readable works on the human past" Nature "A prodigious, convincing work, conceived on a grand scale" Observer "This is the book that turned me from a historian of medieval warfare into a student of humankind" -- Yuval Noah Harari Week "Fascinating, coherent, compassionate and completely accessible" Sunday Telegraph
The fate of the native Americans was sealed in the late Pleistocene when their ancestors, spreading across the continent, wiped out the large land mammals. The lack of suitable creatures to domesticate at a later stage of cultural development left the people with no resistance to the kind of germs - flu, tuberculosis, measles - that humans originally picked up from cattle and pigs. It was germ warfare that enabled a few boatloads of Spaniards to subjugate the Americas. Geography, climate and microbiology are the mainstays of Diamond's overview of evolution, which sets out to demolish racism and to answer the interesting question, 'Why did wealth and power become distributed as they now are, rather than in some other way?' He makes the answer seem so obvious that you think you could have figured it out for yourself. The very broad sweep entails some omissions and generalizations, but the result is a solid basis for the study of history. (Kirkus UK)
Winner of Rhone Poulenc General Prize for Science Books 1998
Winner of Rhone-Poulenc Science Books Prize 1998
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