Guns, Germs, and Steel
the fates of human societies
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
Who are the Japanese? 2003 afterword: Guns, germs, and steel today
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs, and Steel is a brilliant work answering the question of why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading other continents and conquering or displacing their peoples.
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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book, and produced by the National Geographic Society, was broadcast on PBS in July 2005.
It was also published under the title Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The book attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations (in which he includes North Africa) have survived and conquered others, while refuting the assumption that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral or inherent genetic superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures, and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.
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“In short, Europe’s colonization of Africa had nothing to do with differences between European and African peoples themselves, as white racists assume. Rather, it was due to accidents of geography and biogeography—in particular, to the continents’ different areas, axes, and suites of wild plant and animal species. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate.”
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