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  • Published: New York : W.W. Norton, c1997.
  • Year Published: 1997
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 480 p., 32 p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 1440

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0393317552 :
  • 0099302780
  • 0393038912 :


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Guns, germs, and steel : the fates of human societies

by Diamond, Jared M.

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Where To Find It

Call number: 303.4 Di

1 copy being processed for Library System.

Additional Details

"A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years."--Paperback edition.

Community Reviews

gives a new way to view history

I found this book actually quite exciting. To see the argument that Diamond makes for different areas of the world having different climates and different naturally occurring plants and animals, and different degrees of access to other areas and those areas' native plants and animals gives a pretty powerful 'reset' to any ideas about one culture or another having a 'better' set of values or some such thing.

It'd be interesting to have a round table discussion that included Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell.

Diamond can get a bit long-winded, but that's due to solidly and fully exploring a topic, not for any frivolous or self-serving purpose.

Also, having seen him in the National Geographic documentary adaptation of his books, I'm even more of a fan. There's a scene when he visits a hospital in Africa and loses it--starts to cry in a genuine, surprising way due to seeing the many AIDS-affected kids and others--that made him forever a different 'voice' in my head as I read his books.

Why did societies develop where they did

Why did human civilization progress earlier in Europe and Asia than it did in Africa and the Americas? Jared Diamond's thesis is that it had everything to do with geography. This is a fascinating book that examines the resources and climate available in each region and how that effected the development of societies. Highly recommended!!!


This book is really interesting. It is long and takes some focus to get through it all, but it is not too dense and stays compelling to the end.

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