Diamond also argues that geography shaped human migration , not simply by making travel difficult particularly by latitude , but by how climates affect where domesticable animals can easily travel and where crops can ideally grow easily due to the sun. Dec 15, Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing Shelves: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The river Nile has always been the life-blood of Egypt though throughout history the civilization has experienced stages of apparent decline and subjugation by more powerful empires. If you liked this review, and would like to read more, go to BookBanter.

The combined effect of the increased population densities supported by agriculture, and of close human proximity to domesticated animals leading to animal diseases infecting humans, resulted in European societies acquiring a much richer collection of dangerous pathogens to which European people had acquired immunity through natural selection see the Black Death and other epidemics during a longer time than was the case for Native American hunter-gatherers and farmers. Bush has been working hard to try and smooth things out. Published by W. Answered May 8, McNeill June 26, He instead wrote a detailed, engaging account of the history of plant and animal domestication.

jared diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

Guns, Sgeel and Steel: Hence, all other things being equal, technology develops fastest in large productive regions with large human populations, many potential inventors, and many competing societies.

That said, this is still an excellent, thought-provoking read. Jared Diamond asks the question: Successful domestication is based on the Anna Karenina Syndrome, a name given due to the first line of the novel. She had, the guide informed him later, Been eaten by an alligator.

Guns, Germs, and Steel – Wikipedia

Print Hardcover and Paperbackaudio CD, audio cassette, audio download. His style is readable and his arguments well laid out. Large domestic animals also have an important role in the transportation of goods and people over long distances, giving the societies that possess them considerable military and economic advantages. Help Center Find new research papers in: Folks with some interest in ancient history.


The one thing that 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 stewl and proof going back years and more by the most precise dating methods available by today’s scientists. Philosophical Analysis and History. The New York Review of Books.

jared diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

While the central premise makes general sense, I think it’s important to acknowledge that it represents a generality, thesiz thus offers an over-simplified view of human history. One objection you could make is that it wasn’t luck, but rather that Europeans were more enterprising than people in other areas about finding good species to domesticate.

jared diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

In Eurasia, the number made for a critical mass which led to earlier civilization. I could go on and discuss the further problem of his trying to fit history into a science framework, when the two have different approaches for a reason – which is, of course, not to say that the philosophies and conclusions of one can’t support the other idamonds but I think the point of Diamond’s colossal hubris and scholarly failure has been sufficiently made for this review.

The best candidates for domestication live in herds, maintain a clear herd hierarchy, and overlap ranges with other herds rather than having exclusive ranges. IOW, a happy family has many things right while it only takes one of any number of things to make an unhappy one. Of course he is mostly right, but why in the 21st century is t This may be the most over-rated book in the history of book rating.

Many animals have elaborate breeding rituals that can’t happen in captivity. Due to the Anna Karenina principlesurprisingly few animals are suitable for domestication. This is one of those books that takes you a while to read — it’s pretty heavy non-fiction — and yet at the end of it, you feel like Hippocrates, a Muslim scientist, or Leonardo Da Vinci must have felt at the realization jraed a great discovery.


Having lived extensively with pre-industrial people, he says that we city-dwellers just don’t understand how well they know their flora and fauna, and how active their interest in them is.

I have the feeling that his view is ultimately based on a Marxist-like type of historical perspective, whereby diamondd historical events are merely accidents, there is little or no role for chance, randomness and individual action, and where complex feedback loops, culture and ideology, religion, war outcomes and politics are just super-structural elements derived from more fundamental materialistic aspects.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

McNeill June 26, A short history of the world. The new information did not change any of the original edition’s conclusions.

In all of human history only 14 large mammals have ever been domesticated: His friend, who later became a leader in the independence movement, wanted to talk about “cargo” manufactured goods, technology. I cannot comment much about the contents, there are a lot of reviews that describe the contents well. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeedmainly because it told a story about the lost cultures examined. Here’s where we eliminate zebra burgers, hippo burgers, grizzly burgers and bison burgers.

Book Summary: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Paleontologists for example, adopt such an investigative technique by proposing hypotheses that best explain how something occurred in the past to produce the bones in the state where they happen to be found8. Several examples of this can be seen in terms of the encroachment of industrial civilizations upon less developed and more traditional societies in various regions of the world.

The premise of the book is revealed in the prologue in a conversation between the author and a New Guinea native who lives his very simple life in Stone Age conditions.