Summary: In this "artful, informative, and delightful" book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized 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 adv ...show moreance 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.
"A fascinating and extremely important book. That its insights seem so fresh, its facts so novel and arresting, is evidence of how little Americans-and, I suspect, most well-educated citizens of the Western world-know of the most important forces of human history." --David Brown, Washington Post Book World ...show less