True, the theories promoted in Diamond’s book are not disrupted by the accuracy of details concerning the peoples and societies under discussion, but this raises another concern for me: For example, Native Americans had only three domesticated animals before Some human phenomena and characteristics are overwhelmingly influenced by geographic factors; others are significantly influenced by both geographic and non-geographic factors; and still others are subject to scarcely any significant geographic influence at all. It is cultural differences which impact the use of which resources end up becoming important, and something which Diamond neglects. I liked this book, and it taught me a bunch of things I hadn’t known before I read it. Independent News and Media Limited.
The histories of Australia and New Guinea Ch. Diamond argues geographic, climatic and environmental characteristics which favored early development of stable agricultural societies ultimately led to immunity to diseases endemic in agricultural animals and the development of powerful, organized states capable of dominating others. Why were Eurasia’s five species of wild cattle aurochs, water buffalo, yaks, bantengs, and gaurs domesticated and not Africa’s water buffalo or America’s bison? In my opinion, this book has pristine description the revolution in Indonesia. The history of Africa Epilogue:
If you look at the Inca sources, sure there’s some conflicting accounts – same goes for the Spanish – but what’s obvious is that they weren’t naive. Despite the fascinating subject matter I found this book a bit dry. However, since Europe and its political and physical diamodns allowed sufficiently good connections between each gerjs, the flow of ideas and innovation were not hindered such as in other continents and places of the world.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
As he points out, in the early 15th century, China was ready to explore the world, but political infighting in their unified government killed the exploration party almost a century before Columbus set out. In andthe author published new English-language editions that included information collected since the previous editions. Diamond posits that the most of these diseases were only developed and sustained in large dense populations in villages and cities; he also states most epidemic diseases evolve from similar diseases of domestic animals.
Like any theory it has to be at least dizmonds probable sounding, and since people are used to thinking of life, these days, in terms of materialistic values already, Harris’ theory sounds logical and likely very often.
Europe was anf ultimate beneficiary of Eurasia’s east-west orientation: Diamond sets these geographical and climatic boundaries as seemingly insurmountable, and of course — very important factors explaining the lack of development of large populous civilizations all over both North and South America. The unconscious development of ancient crops Ch. Two very different things.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
Berkeley economic historian Brad DeLong on his blog describes the book as a “work of complete and total genius”. According to Diamond, it happened at the latrine. He thought some New Guinea—iirc—society was the smartest because they fought on sight and it was necessary to be able to recognize who was a friend and who not really, really fast.
The people of the Andes apparently could not share resources with those further north, neither could the MesoAmericans from the denizens of the American south-west and south-east. Another concept that I was very happy to be made so clear is the explanation of why whites conquered most of the world was not because they were a superior race in any way. Jared also contrasts the development of societies in Eurasia with that of the Native American societies and here it is apparently climate that played a big factor with respect to barriers to diffusion of food and culture.
This seed of doubt concerning the accuracy of Diamond’s assumptions about the Americas prevented me from fully appreciating what he had to say about the histories of the other continents, of which I am even less familiar.
Outside of Eurasia, there were still regions of technological difference and regions of comparative advantage and disadvantage, albeit nothing compared with Eurasia. Answered Dec 14, Removing all of this would leave the only parts really worth reading: To use Jared Diamond’s example: Nothing is properly cited in this book, which is another cringe point. South Africa History Online. However, this has not enabled them to apply their innovation to levels achievable by more advanced, resource-blessed and regionally-connected agricultural societies.
Why didn’t the Incas sail to Europe, capture Charles V, kill his subjects, and loot his castles and cathedrals?
Human history is a function of geography. The combination of specialization and population growth leads to the accumulation of social and technologic innovations which build on each other.
Why has no publishing house knocked down my door trying to obtain my book titling diamond yet?! There is also the question as to how technology arises from all this apparent Eurasian advantage.
Diamond also states that the development of technology requires the presence of agriculture in a society as opposed to hunter gathering food surpluses and storage allow a proper non-agricultural division of labour to develop and thus complex societies.
I mean, we want to put Guns first because it’s more attention-grabbing than Germs, but let’s face it, this book is mostly about Germs. I’m using theory in the scientific sense here, where the fact of gravity’s existence is obvious but there needs to be a framework of mechanical explanation – and this framework has the potential to be proven wrong.
Diamond argues that Eurasian civilization is not so much a product of ingenuity, but of opportunity and necessity. The one thing jn struck me – and here I warn readers that I climb on my soapbox near the Marble Arch for a moment – is the abundance of corroborating evidence for human evolution and development that has solid artefacts and proof going back years and more by the most precise dating methods available by today’s scientists. Books by Jared Diamond. Some interesting points on this book for me: