Book Review: Guns, Germs, and Steel

14_br_gunsgermssteelRead for: To be smarter about stuff
Rating: 4.5/5
Ok you guys, this book covers a crazy amount of information. It begins with Yali’s Question; “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?” ‘Cargo’ in this case referring to material goods including steel axes, matches, medicines, soft drinks, clothing, etc. Diamond then takes on the outrageous task of summarizing the development of human societies over the last 40,000 years in order to attempt to answer Yali’s question. I learned a lot by reading this book. Diamond presents his information without bias and in a language that is accessible to a wide audience as he covers a series of topics that he feels contributed to how human societies in different countries developed through the centuries. I particularly found the sections on food production interesting; he writes about farmers vs. hunter gatherers as well as how humans domesticated certain animals and plants (and why some regions did but others did not). This book is truly fascinating, which is probably why it won the Pulitzer Prize (!), my only complaint being that it was pretty short considering the amount of information included. Is it weird that I’m complaining about an educational book being too short? That’s just how great it is. So if you haven’t yet, you should pick it up because it’s kind of a big deal.

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