Earl Grey Tea's Reviews > Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
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's review
Oct 28, 2012

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bookshelves: essay, history, sociology, science
Read from September 26 to October 17, 2012

Jared Diamond provides a very interesting hypothesis of why civilizations that developed near the Fertile Crescent in Eurasia were able to develop the the guns, germs and steel to dominate other societies in the modern world. The author tries to look at this idea from a larger perspective of multiple schools of thought from different fields. Overall, he is able to present a logical argument that makes sense with the facts and opinions that he presents.

With such a large topic to discuss (the entire history of homo sapiens), organization was definitely a challenge at times in the book. In addition, some of his information in certain parts could get repetitive. When explaining the benefits of an east-west continental axis in the development of civilizations, he showed the downfalls of a north-south continental axis in North and South America. Later, when discussing the history and development of human societies on these two continents, this point would be continuously brought up again.

While many parts of the book go into great detail to support his ideas, other parts are very brief and limited. It might raise the concern that the subject was simplified for a larger base of reader or that the author may lack familiarity with subjects that he talks about in brief.

Even though some of the organization styles and brevity of some sections may rub me the wrong way, Jared Diamond provides a very interesting idea of how human societies developed in relation to their environment and surroundings.

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