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Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

[Longhorn Review] Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

Material Type: All, books — Tags: conquests, evolution of societies — Posted on April 2, 2009, 8:18 am

By: Jared Diamond

This Pulitzer Prize winner addresses the question as to why human development
proceeded at different rates on different continents and why some groups of people
came to dominate others. It asks the question: "Why did wealth and power become
distributed as they are now, rather than in some other way?" The author examines
interactions among disparate peoples at various times in history, and proposes that
the answers lie not in inate ability, but in the early domestication of wild plants
and animals and other benefits of environment and location. Not only is there an
advantage gained by feeding nonfarming specialists for scholarship, government, and
the military, but the nasty germs developed by those who lived with livestock became
very potent weapons when the "civilized" came into contact with the
"primitive."

Reviewer: Bill Grosskopf

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