Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond

981 Words4 Pages
“History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among people themselves.”(Diamond 25) This statement is the thesis for Jared Diamond’s book Guns Germs and Steel the Fates of Human Societies. Diamond wrote this book to answer the question of a New Guinean politician, Yali. He asked “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own.” Diamond set out to find the answer to this question, to find out why history unfolded like it did. Diamond credits the inequalities in history to differences in environments not biological differences as so many people like to say. Most of the advantages the Europeans had were a direct result of geography. The main points that Diamond attributes to European dominance are early plant and animal domestication and as a result of close contact to animals the deadliest germs were given to the Europeans. As result of its East-West axis the diffusion of food production, technologies, humans and ideas were easily spread throughout Europe. The axis mean that there were similar climatic, geographic, and disease conditions to migrants and no barriers. So anything that could be grown in one area was sure to quickly spread and thrive in the neighboring locations. Moreover, political administration, economic exchanges, incentive for exploration and conquest, and making information available to every individual were facilitated after the development of writing. Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at UCLA. He has a PhD in physiology and has spent his time since then researching molecular physiology and evolutio... ... middle of paper ... he had before elaborating on his main idea. One thing that I really liked in the book was the beginning of the chapter Zebras and Unhappy Marriages. Diamond starts the chapter with “Domesticable animals are all alike; every undomesticable animal is undomesticable in its own way.”(Diamond 157) This sentence is based of off the famous first sentence of Tolstoy’s novel Ana Karenina. I thought that this was a clever way to start the passage and catch the reader’s attention. However, the issue I had with the book was that it was repetitive. Jared Diamond would reiterate what he had already stated earlier in the book or passage. Overall the book was well organized and well written. Jared Diamond clearly stated his thesis more than once throughout the book. He elaborated on every point he made and did a good job in convincing the reader of his standing on the topic.
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