Front cover image for Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

Jared M. Diamond (Author)
Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. Here, at last, is a world history that really is a history of all the world's peoples, a unified narrative of human life even more intriguing and important than accounts of dinosaurs and glaciers. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world, and its inequalities, came to be. It is a work rich in dramatic revelations that will fascinate readers even as it challenges conventional wisdom
Print Book, English, 1997
First edition View all formats and editions
W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1997
480 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
9780393038910, 0393038912
Prologue. Yali's question : The regionally differing courses of history
Part One. From Eden to Cajamarca
Chapter 1. Up to the starting line : What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.?
Chapter 2. A natural experiment of history : How geography molded societies on Polynesian islands
Chapter 3. Collision at Cajamarca : Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain
Part Two. The rise and spread of food production
Chapter 4. Farmer power : The roots of guns, germs, and steel
Chapter 5. History's haves and have-nots : Geographic differences in the onset of food production
Chapter 6. To farm or not to farm : Causes of the spread of food production
Chapter 7. How to make an almond : The unconscious development of ancient crops
Chapter 8. Apples or Indians : Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants?
Chapter 9. Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle : Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated?
Chapter 10. Spacious skies and tilted axes : Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents?
Part Three. From food to guns, germs, and steel
Chapter 11. Lethal gift of livestock : The evolution of germs
Chapter 12. Blueprints and borrowed letters : The evolution of writing
Chapter 13. Necessity's mother : The evolution of technology
Chapter 14. From egalitarianism to kleptocracy : The evolution of government and religion
Part Four. Around the world in five chapters
Chapter 15. Yali's people : The histories of Australia and New Guinea
Chapter 16. How China became Chinese : The history of East Asia
Chapter 17. Speedboat to Polynesia : The history of Austronesian expansion
Chapter 18. Hemispheres colliding : The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared
Chapter 19. How Africa became black : The history of Africa
Epilogue. The future of human history as a science
Read by Grover Gardner.