• Guns Germs and Steel
  • Reviewer: leefish
  • Jared Diamond
  • Genre: NonFiction Reference
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Review Type: Book Review
First published in the United States by W.W.Norton and Company, on March 1 1997, Guns, Germs and Steel was initially subtitled ‘The Fates of Human Societies.’ Within a few months, this subtitle had evolved into ‘A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years.’

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, the Rhone Poulenc Science Book Prize, along with three other international literary prizes, Guns, Germs and Steel has been translated into 25 languages and has sold millions of copies around the world.

History’s broadest pattern is its different unfolding on different continents over the last 13,000 years. In 11,000 BC, all societies everywhere were bands of preliterate hunter-gatherers with stone tools. By 1492 AD, that was still true in all of Australia, much of the Americas, and some of sub-Saharan Africa, but populous Eurasian societies already had state governments, writing, iron technology, and standing armies. Obviously, that is why Eurasians (especially Europeans) conquered peoples of other continents. Why did history unfold that way? Why didn’t Africans instead conquer Eurasia, bringing Native Americans as slaves?

This is the question that Jared Diamond poses and then proceeds to answer. This is not a novel, and is written in a scholarly style, but its not hard to read as the subject matter is so fascinating.

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