"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."―Bill Gates
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel explores the reasons why societies have historically followed diverse trajectories. It received the Pulitzer Prize, was named one of TIME's top non-fiction books of all time, and was made into a PBS documentary.
Diamond contends that rather than resulting from biological variations among the members of the societies, differences between them were brought about by environmental circumstances that had an impact on their historical evolution. Eurasians (people from Asia, Europe, and North Africa) historically had a strategic advantage over non-Eurasians due to these qualities, including superior knowledge, centralized governments, and immunity to contagious diseases.
Eurasian colonists eventually came to rule most of the world thanks to these advantages. Eurasians, according to Diamond, possessed these advantages primarily because of the fertile agricultural land they were born into, which facilitated the growth of other advantages in science, knowledge, and administration.
History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.