Summary of The World Until Yesterday

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The World Until Yesterday book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

getAbstract International Book Award Winner 2013

9 Overall

8 Importance

9 Innovation

10 Style


Recommendation

Members of bands and tribes in traditional societies make few contributions to such scientific fields as astronomy, chemistry and physics. Their knowledge of the modern world is limited. Yet the modern world also has a limited understanding of traditional societies, for example, the !Kung tribe in Africa or the Xingu Indians of Brazil. Modern states have more sophisticated technology than any band or tribe, but this superiority does not extend to the rituals of everyday living. Traditional societies have effective, time-tested methods for raising children, resolving disputes, caring for the elderly and limiting exposure to diabetes, heart attacks and other noncommunicable diseases. Not all aspects of traditional societies are exportable to modern ones, including certain hunter-gatherers’ practice of infanticide and euthanasia. Historian Jared Diamond brilliantly details multiple realms of modern life that could learn from bands’ and tribes’ traditional approach. getAbstract recommends his comprehensive review of traditional and modern societies to academics, as well as amateur anthropologists and everyone seeking a deeper understanding of what modern people can learn from ancient ways.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What valuable lessons traditional societies can teach modern societies;
  • How the everyday practices of primitive bands and tribes shed light on dispute resolution, child raising, health care, and more; and
  • Which primitive practices – including infanticide and constant tribal retaliation killings – modern civilization shuns.
 

About the Author

Jared Diamond, a geography professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, also wrote Collapse. His book Guns, Germs and Steel won the Pulitzer Prize.

 

Summary

How Traditional Societies Can Enlighten Modern Ones
Modernity has its advantages, like medical care, comfortable lifestyles and security. Contemporary states put judges and police officers between parties who are in conflict to keep their disputes from deteriorating into violent acts of...

More on this topic

By the same author

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel
10
Collapse
Collapse
9

Customers who read this summary also read

Law, Legislation and Liberty
Law, Legislation and Liberty
8
It Takes a Tribe
It Takes a Tribe
8
Fractured Lands
Fractured Lands
9
The Last Safe Investment
The Last Safe Investment
8
Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections)
8
The Shape of the New
The Shape of the New
8

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Shmouel Benzacar 11 months ago
    sucks! tech errors!
    • Avatar
      Karen Londo 10 months ago
      Hello Shmouel, we are sorry to hear you are experiencing Tech errors. Please write to us at info@getabstract.com so that we can assist you further.