Press Releases: Guns Germs and Steel
Guns Germs and Steel
A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years
With a new afterword by the author
‘The scope and the explanatory power of this book are amazing’
‘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?’
Guns, Germs and Steel is Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning response to a seemingly simple question, posed by a New Guinean politician over 45 years ago. The result is a groundbreaking investigation into the reasons why Eurasians – rather than the indigenous populations of Africa, Australia, or the Americas – developed the weapons, diseases and technology that have repeatedly enabled them to dominate the rest of the world.
In his relentless search for ‘ultimate causes’, Diamond takes us back 13,000 years to the end of the last Ice Age, when humans throughout the world were still living a uniform hunter-gatheer lifestyle.
Drawing on botany and zoology, archaeology and evolutionary biology, linguistics and the history of diseases, he explores how Eurasians were the first to make the crucial transition to a settled farming life and how this led to the development of new technologies, tools and weapons.
But Diamond’s magisterial survey also reveals that these things occurred first in Eurasia simply because it happened to have many more species of domesticable animals and crops than any other part of the world; along with a relatively uniform climate and a lack of major geographical barriers. His humbling conclusion is that the seemingly inevitable dominance of Eurasians is in fact the accidental outcome of an environmental hand stacked heavily in their favour and overwhelmingly against people living elsewhere.
In a new afterword, written for the 20th anniversary edition, Diamond shows how these radical ideas continue to explain why some countries remain poverty-stricken while others thrive.
This updated edition also includes a lavish selection of colour illustrations, supplementing the black and white images that accompanied the original text, to create a definitive version of this modern classic.
Bound in blocked metallic paper with a design by Christian Montenegro. Typeset in Centaur.
528 pages. Frontispiece, 18 pages of colour plates, 32 pages of mono portraits, 26 figures and 19 maps.
Metallic slipcase. 10˝x 6¾˝.
UK £49.95 US $73.95 Can $99.95 Aus $99.95
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