Similarly, Africa was fragmented by its extreme variations in climate from north to south: 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 – but I think the point of Diamond’s colossal hubris and scholarly failure has been sufficiently made for this review. For example, after someone learns Newtonian mechanics, he tends to see the entire universe as the interplay between physical forces that are expressed in terms of differential equations. Still others, he says, “have been decimated, subjugated, and in some cases even exterminated by European colonialists. Broadly speaking, Diamond pulls this off.
An explanation based on geography without any racist element in it. Diamond, NOT an anthropologist, takes Marvin Harris’ theory of cultural materialism and uses it to explain everything in life, history, and the current state of the world. Still other examples are the many differences between the attitudes of French and German people, e. Unfortunately, those factors are all he regards as important; he relegates to insignificance the contribution of ideas, innovations, and the decision-making of individuals or cultures. The regionally differing courses of history 13 Ch. The anthropologist Jason Antrosio described Guns, Germs, and Steel as a form of “academic porn,” writing, “Diamond’s account makes all the factors of European domination a product of a distant and accidental history” and “has almost no role for human agency—the ability people have to make decisions and influence outcomes.
Diamond also proposes geographical explanations for why western European societies, rather than other Eurasian powers such as China, have been the dominant colonizers,   claiming Europe’s geography favored balkanization into smaller, closer, nation-states, bordered by natural barriers of mountains, rivers, and coastline.
Aug 30, Darwin8u rated it really liked it Shelves: Answered Dec 14, We learned about the kn colonies of the Greenland Norse and of islands settled by Polynesian peoples long ago who left only fragmentary clues as to what happened.
It has been a reading pleasure and I learned quite a bit gunz it. Dec 15, Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jared Diamond is very good on his own ground, and so long as his narrative is based on his knowledge of anthropology, biology and geography, all is well. One false note comes early in the book, when he departs from his evenhandedness to assure us that not only should we not hold New Guineans to be less intellectually zteel than Europeans a reasonable enough assumptionbut that they are probably intellectually superior.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Lists with This Book. View all 13 comments. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseaseshe asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures for example, by facilitating commerce and trade between different cultures and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.
This sounds like a school question intended to make you read the book, and you are trying to wriggle out of reading the book. I cannot comment much about the contents, there are a lot of reviews that ni the contents well.
The plentiful supply of food and the dense populations that it supported made division of labor possible.
Book Summary: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
It does stretch that section out a lot, though. Many found an explanation in racial exceptionalism. Look, certain civilizations came to dominate based on a couple random, accidental, and nonracially-based situations that combined to give the Eurasian dianonds a slight advantage once these civilizations came into contact with each other. Some interesting points on this book for me: There are numerous minor factual errors, like saying that “oi” means “sheep” in Irish p.
Successful domestication is based on the Anna Karenina Syndrome, a name given due to the first line of the novel. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate. Diamond identifies a mere 14 domesticated large mammal species worldwide. And yet, we now have high-placed individuals in the US holding these beliefs and poised to poison American youth with medieval and ignorant ideas such as young-earth creationism.
A contradiction here is that fatalistic viewpoints are incompatible with moral pronouncements. In Eurasia, the number made for a critical mass which led to earlier civilization. It seeks to provide a simple rationale to explain why inequalities exist between the peoples of the world.
Apr 08, Lyn rated it really liked it. Answered May 6, Of course, I am vastly over-simplifying the book and it’s really necessary for one to peruse its pages to get the full understanding.
Guess what started growing in that spot? Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed diqmonds, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.
Every other large mammal that remained including moose and bison lacked the qualities that allow for domestication. For example, after someone learns Newtonian mechanics, he tends to see the entire universe as the interplay between physical forces that are expressed in terms of differential equations. And indeed, while I can’t assess the validity of some of Diamond’s scientific claims–though the continent axis theory falls apart the more you start to think about it, as does his failure to consider the impact of human alteration of the environment–I do know that I’d expect better historical argumentation from an undergraduate history major.
Focusing on the languages that are easiest for you thesie understand is far from persuasive.