Diamond described this idea on his next book, Collapse. Now Pollan Botany of Desire, not only has a more gripping style, but, to my mind at least a much more unique and interesting premise. Yep, if you are unlucky enough to be born on a continent or onto part of a continent with only anteaters, there is no fucking way you are going to get sheets, no matter how smart you are. Yes, some thought so, but they’ve been refuted for long enough that I thought he belabored the point. Way to go, Dubya!
Basically, what he’s saying is that pre-industrial people tried everything that could be tried, and when they didn’t find anything good, it’s because it wasn’t there. In this “artful, informative, and delightful” William H. The dominant Out of Africa theory holds that modern humans developed east of the Great Rift Valley of the African continent at one time or another. I listened to this on audio, al Diamond attempts to “provide a short history of everybody for the last 13, years,” AND answer the question of why some cultures thrive while others perish or are conquered by others. In contrast, American farmers had to struggle to develop corn as a useful food from its probable wild ancestor, teosinte.
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The beauty of Diamond’s book is that it seems to pinpoint, with surprising simplicity, the original source of disequilibrium among men: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
The unconscious development of ancient crops Ch. The roots of guns, germs, and steel 85 Ch. Western Europe also benefited from a more temperate climate than Southwestern Asia where intense agriculture ultimately damaged the environment, encouraged desertificationand hurt soil fertility.
The history of East Asia Ch. It is most definitely not historical racism, whatever twist in meaning one applies to the definition of that term. Stopped on page 88 for the time being, because, man, do people ever suck.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
The evolution of technology Ch. Rookie errors like that made me roll my eyes extra hard at the epilogue in which Diamond explains to historians what our discipline should look diamknds and how we should think of it. When Europeans made contact with the Americas, European diseases to which Americans had no immunity ravaged the ghns American population, rather than the other way around the “trade” in diseases was a little more balanced in Africa and southern Asia: The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers.
View all 13 comments. The Americas had difficulty adapting crops domesticated at one latitude for use setel other latitudes and, in North America, adapting crops from one side of the Rocky Mountains to the other. Even a high school student could tell you that you should use and cite primary sources from multiple sides of an event, cite your secondary sources, and use some goddamn critical thinking.
I loved his book Collapse: But make no mistake — with all its problems, it is a nevertheless a good, highly readable, informative, fascinating diaomnds, recommended to all lovers of history who want to gain original insights and perspectives into the broad patterns of historical development.
Although geography had been nearly eliminated as an academic discipline in the United States after the s, stfel geography-based historical theories were published in the s. Diamond is condemnatory of the Spanish incursion into Mayan lands, but the logical consequence of his theory is that the Mayans would have done the same to the Spanish if they had been first to develop the musket and frigate. ans
Also important to the transition from hunter-gatherer to city-dwelling agrarian societies was the presence of ‘large’ domesticable animals, raised for meat, work, and long-distance communication. Print Hardcover and Paperbackaudio CD, audio cassette, audio download.
Open Preview See a Problem? Why have Europeans tended to dominate other peoples on other continents?
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Outside of these, no other large mammals have been transformed from wild animals into something useful to humans. He has tremendously distorted the role of domestication and agriculture in that history. Retrieved January 22, View all 17 comments.
Ia like every other time you attempt to explain everything that ever happened in the history of man with one theory, this falls desperately short of reality. If you look at the Inca sources, sure there’s some conflicting accounts – same goes for the Spanish – but what’s obvious is that they weren’t naive. Jan 31, Joshua Parkinson rated it diamonnds liked it. The other continents did not have this ease, which Diamond explains in clear detail with facts and dates. This is admittedly minor, but if you indulge in repeated bouts of carelessness like that, you’re going to make me suspicious about the factual foundations of the rest of your arguments.
Because they take flight at the first sign of danger and will literally kill themselves running into a fence over and over to escape the threat. This book has interesting theory of the losing of China vs. Eurasian grains were richer in protein, easier to sow, and easier to store than American maize or tropical bananas.
Retrieved August 23, Is this the worst book ever?