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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
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HEALTH- MEDICINE - SCIENCE > 8. GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL ~ CHAPTER 14 (265 - 293) (11/01/10 - 11/07/10) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 34748 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 1st through November 7th, we are reading approximately the next 28 pages of Guns, Germs and Steel.

This thread will discuss the following chapters and pages (it opens up on November 1st or the evening of the 31st):

Week Eight – November 1st – November 7th -> Chapter FOURTEEN p. 265 - 293
FOURTEEN – From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we have done for other spotlighted reads.

We kicked everything off on September 12th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, on iTunes for the ipad, etc. However, be careful, some audible formats are abridged and not unabridged.

There is still remaining time to obtain the book and get started.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.



This is a link to the complete table of contents and syllabus thread:

We continue the journey.


Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond Jared DiamondJared Diamond

message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 34748 comments Mod
And the story continues:

"Besides sustaining scribes and inventors, food production also enabled farmers to support politicians as described in Chapter 14.

Mobile bands of hunter-gatherers are relatively egalitarian, and their political sphere is confined to the band's own territory and to shifting alliances with neighboring bands.

With the rise of dense, sedentary, food-producing populations came the rise of chiefs, kings, and bureaucrats. Such bureaucracies were essential not only to governing large and populous domains but also to maintaining standing armies, sending out fleets of exploration, and organizing wars of conquest."

Mary Ellen | 169 comments Beleive it or not, I'm still making my way through this book!

This is the first chapter that left me a bit flat, though maybe that is my problem as a reader, not Diamond's as a writer. This was what I took away from it (other than descriptions of bands, tribes, etc.): that development of food production and advanced social organization (from chieftains to nations) had and have a symbiotic relationship and that "which came first" is an impossible question as each needs the other. Did I miss something?

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 34748 comments Mod
Mary Ellen, that is why we leave the threads open; you can get through it at your leisure. I think the chapter showed the natural progression of civilization (or what the book calls civilization). I think you got the gist of it.

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (other topics)

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