(0) items

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies



Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
List Price: $20.21

Rent Textbook


Buy Used Textbook

In Stock Usually Ships in 24 Hours.

Buy New Textbook

Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days


More New and Used
from Private Sellers
Starting at $0.01

Questions About This Book?

Why should I rent this book?

Renting is easy, fast, and cheap! Renting from can save you hundreds of dollars compared to the cost of new or used books each semester. At the end of the semester, simply ship the book back to us with a free UPS shipping label! No need to worry about selling it back.

How do rental returns work?

Returning books is as easy as possible. As your rental due date approaches, we will email you several courtesy reminders. When you are ready to return, you can print a free UPS shipping label from our website at any time. Then, just return the book to your UPS driver or any staffed UPS location. You can even use the same box we shipped it in!

What version or edition is this?

This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 4/17/1999.

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.
  • The Used copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. You may receive a brand new copy, but typically, only the book itself.
  • The eBook copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically only the book itself is included.


In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books ) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Yali's Question: The regionally differing courses of historyp. 13
Up to the Starting Line: What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.?p. 35
A Natural Experiment of History: How geography molded societies on Polynesian islandsp. 53
Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spainp. 67
Farmer Power: The roots of guns, germs, and steelp. 85
History's Haves and Have-Nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food productionp. 93
To Farm or Not to Farm: Causes of the spread of food productionp. 104
How to Make an Almond: The unconscious development of ancient cropsp. 114
Apples or Indians: Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants?p. 131
Zebras, Unhappy Marriages, and the Anna Karenina Principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated?p. 157
Spacious Skies and Tilted Axes: Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents?p. 176
Lethal Gift of Livestock: The evolution of germsp. 195
Blueprints and Borrowed Letters: The evolution of writingp. 215
Necessity's Mother: The evolution of technologyp. 239
From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religionp. 265
Yali's People: The histories of Australia and New Guineap. 295
How China became Chinese: The history of East Asiap. 322
Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of the Austronesian expansionp. 334
Hemispheres Colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas comparedp. 354
How Africa became Black: The history of Africap. 376
Epilogue: The Future of Human History as a Sciencep. 403
Acknowledgmentsp. 427
Further Readingsp. 429
Creditsp. 459
Indexp. 461
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

Please wait while the item is added to your cart...