Guns, Germs, and Steel
A review of

Guns, Germs, and Steel

The Fates of Human Societies

Jared DiamondW.W. Norton • 2005

Reframing History

by David Meyer

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jared Diamond's landmark book details the prime forces driving 13,000 years of human history.

In this New York Times bestseller (more than two million copies sold), Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jared Diamond dismisses the notion that people, not places, account for inequality among nations and continents. Inequality, he teaches, stems from differences in geography and agricultural potential, not regional differences in human intellectual capacity – a racist belief many people cling to still.

Food production and societal complexity stimulate each other.Jared Diamond

In Diamond’s analysis, humanity’s adaptation of agriculture drove much of human history. The spread of agriculture allowed people to eat more nutritionally, women to have more children and laborers to expand their work beyond securing food. Farming indirectly encouraged the development of writing systems and the organizational predecessors of modern states. Along with guns and swords, Diamond reveals, germs became tools of conquest as Europeans infected vulnerable populations around the world with lethal diseases.

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    A. M. 4 years ago
    Great summary, but one not insignificant point is that Diamond is not actually a historian. As you correctly state at the bottom in the bio, he is many things; he is not a historian.