Jared Diamond’s history

Guns, Germs and Steel makes a primary argument that Eurasian societies were able to dominate American and southern societies because of advantages in geography and climate — not because of genetic superiority.
What I liked best about the book, though, wasn’t this thesis. It was the amassing of a broad, integrated picture of the development of human culture, using evidence about food, language, migration, and disease, from a range of historical disciplines including archaeology, genetics, historical linguistics, and synthesis of historical sources. It was breathtaking to see a single animated picture across the 10,000 years of the spread of human culture since the emergence of agriculture, like a time series animation of an lunar eclipse or the flowering of a rose.

2 thoughts on “Jared Diamond’s history”

  1. It’s also excellent background reading for trying to understand the early development of domineering/power-over bits of culture (which we now find in all ‘great’ cultures).

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