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Some scholars have emphasized human social inventions, such as states, empires, religious faiths, economic institutions, or cultural practices. Others have based their inquiry on a more materialistic foundation, emphasizing geography, climate, the biosphere interpreted broadly to include food and disease , human genetics, or energy flows.
A third group has focused on the interaction between these two domains, emphasizing the ways in which humans have manipulated their material surroundings by means of technologies such as stone tools, the lateen sail, the steam engine, or the integrated circuit. As one might surmise from the book's title, Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel is an example of this last category; two-thirds of the study is concerned with human interactions with the environment via technologies. But Diamond's intellectual range is so wide that the materialist foundation germs also bulks large in the book.
Even the cultural inventions of the first category are addressed, although they are clearly of less weight in Diamond's opinion, being more derivative than foundational. The central theme of Diamond's book is that the course of history has been different for different populations not because of any differences among peoples, but because of differences among their physical environments.
Evolution through natural selection is the principal driving force, at least at the beginning of the story, 13, years ago.
The [End Page ] climate of the Mediterranean cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers selected for certain wild grasses einkorn and emmer wheat that stored much of their energy in large seeds; these grasses became the basis for the launching of the neolithic revolution some ten millennia ago in eastern Turkey.
Humans found abundant nourishment in these seeds, as did other animals—the grazing herbivores like horses, cattle, and sheep—which then became the foundation for a livestock food system.
Eurasia's dominant east-west axis offered channels for the expansion and refinement through adaptation of this food system across the "World Continent," the grazing animals offered the potential for a portable protein supply, and the domestication of the horse in the Ukraine provided humans with a mobility unsurpassed until the appearance of the steam engine. The Mediterranean food system, based on wheat, beef, and olive oil, sustained expansive and creative empires.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world.
Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed 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 advance 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.
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Guns, Germs And Steel and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Guns, Germs & Steel – The Fates of Human Societies Paperback – 9 Apr In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond. Read Guns, Germs, and Steel - The Fates of Human Societies book reviews & author details and more at ebimutijymyj.tk Free delivery on qualified orders.
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Your review has been submitted and will appear here shortly. I love the fusion of historical sociobiology, and still cannot understand how I became so fascinated by agriculture and plants.
Date published: Rated 5 out of 5 by Kimberly from Amazing!!! Rated 5 out of 5 by Sergei from Amazing read Must read. So interataining and well explained.
Love it and definitely would read again and again. For now it's my favorite book that I've read this year. Rated 5 out of 5 by Robert from A book for the ages This book will not soon be forgotten. It is one of the great non-fiction works and needs to be read by every anthro student.