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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 history||p. 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 islands||p. 53|
|Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spain||p. 67|
|Farmer Power: The roots of guns, germs, and steel||p. 85|
|History's Haves and Have-Nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food production||p. 93|
|To Farm or Not to Farm: Causes of the spread of food production||p. 104|
|How to Make an Almond: The unconscious development of ancient crops||p. 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 germs||p. 195|
|Blueprints and Borrowed Letters: The evolution of writing||p. 215|
|Necessity's Mother: The evolution of technology||p. 239|
|From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religion||p. 265|
|Yali's People: The histories of Australia and New Guinea||p. 295|
|How China became Chinese: The history of East Asia||p. 322|
|Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of the Austronesian expansion||p. 334|
|Hemispheres Colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas compared||p. 354|
|How Africa became Black: The history of Africa||p. 376|
|Epilogue: The Future of Human History as a Science||p. 403|
|Further Readings||p. 429|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|