Book Reviews of Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns Germs and Steel
Author: Jared Diamond
Audio Books swap for two (2) credits.
ISBN-13: 9780736656665
ISBN-10: 0736656669
Publication Date: 9/18/2000
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2

2.8 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Books on Tape
Book Type: Audio Cassette
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29 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Read's like a doctoral thesis. So redundant that one wonders if the author was being paid by the word.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is not the easiest read in the world, but definately offers fascinating material for thought.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Interesting arguments, presented in a very clear and matter-of-fact way. Was not a fan of the prose however. Very dry, chapters did not really seem to flow together. Given such a gripping topic, would have expected a bit more page "turn-ability".
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
You will never look at the world around you in the same way after reading this book. It gives some interesting answers as to how different cultures where shaped depending upon where they were located and and the food that was available.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Tremendous scholarly work. Ever wonder why some societies, such as African and South American, for example, have not "progressed" to the levels of others in economic and military terms? Ever suspect that the answer is innate intelligence? Diamond disproves this idea with resounding insight. His surprising answer to this question is basically "geography." That plus the lack of domesticatable animals and grains. The geography answer may be perplexing, until you consider that in Eurasia successful crops could be exported very widely with little latitudinal change. Not so in North-South land masses. (From a developmental standpoint, the US is largely European.)

It all boils down historically to the change in a society from hunter-gatherers (nomads) to agricultural (settled) civilizations. It is the latter that enables specialization of labor. When everyone is struggling to feed themselves and their families on a day to day basis, there is no luxury of allowing the rise of a craftsman class, a warrior class, etc., etc.

The great news from Diamond is that most of the old rules no longer apply in a modern "flat" world, so these natural obstacles to development in Africa, e.g., are in the process of being removed as economics allow.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 569 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
very interesting theories on causation in History. Takes some thinking but really interesting
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Scholarly and detailed, but is a real page turner.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 132 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A compelling if not always enthralling examination of the fates of human societies - why one society became dominant while another withered - from a decidedly unusual environmental perspective.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An excellent analysis of how culture develops as a result of geography. Diamond conveys an amazing amount of specialized information simply and readably. He argues his point persuasively.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 177 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Iconic work in the field demonstrating how accidents of geography and geographical biology led to the development of food production in certain locales, which in turn led to sedentary societies, increased population, and crowd-based diseases, which led to job specialization and to more inventors being born, which gave certain peoples a head start on developing technologies and germs that allowed them to defeat other people not so endowed.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on
Helpful Score: 1
Guns, Germs and Steel takes an interesting topic, analyze it sporadically, and then never reach a conclusion. The author finds evidence around the world and throws in a few anecdotes but never manages to tie the evidence together. That is left to the reader as if this were a textbook to guide a student to write a paper.

You can make the leap to the answer to the question of why "civilization" proceeded in some parts of the world but not others. You can go on to delve into the philosophical question of the misery civilization has caused. The author leaves that to the reader.

The book seems unfinished.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 42 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book. It is well researched and the information is very interesting. However, the book reads like a doctoral thesis and can be dry and technical. It does a very good job in answering the difficult question why Eurasian societies developed earlier/faster than other societies and were able to conquer other socities like the Americas. The easy answer is the immediate causes found in the title, guns, germs, and steel. However, this book tries to answer the question with the ultimate causes. Long answer short the differences between the continents in several environmental factors that led to Eurasian societies developing farming earlier than other societies or some societies not developing farming at all.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 5426 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This does a better job of explaining why the world is the way it is than any other book.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
So enlightening. One of those books where you have plenty of "Oh, THAT explains it!" moments.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 9 more book reviews
Interesting explanation of how civilizations have developed, conquered each other, and spread across the globe. Personally, I think he tries unconvincingly to assure the reader that intelligence has nothing to do with the results.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 203 more book reviews
AWESOME!!! The most incredible book I have ever read!
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 76 more book reviews
A must read book if you like History...took some time for me to get through it but well worth it in the end
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on
Some very thoughtful insight
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 59 more book reviews
This book is unabridged and extremely interesting.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 4 more book reviews
This is such a good book!!
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 5426 more book reviews
Best book ever! That includes the bible, because this book makes more sense.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on
This book is fascinating, and I'd recommend it to the species as a whole. Historical science ftw.
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 36 more book reviews
Reading this book was an eye opening experience. Since I was a teenager watching Albert Sweitzer on TV in Africa, I wondered, why are there so many disparities and inequalities in the world populations? Why is Africa so poor? How, if we all came out of Africa, we're not all black? Jared Diamond attempts to answer those questions and many more in a very straightforward, scientific manner. His writing can be a little on the dull side sometimes, but then there are many places in the book where he makes the topic a little lighter. This is not a book you'll read in one sitting, or stay up all night to read, but it is written very well, and it has helped me to understand a lot better how we all came to be who we are, and where we "fit" into the world. I would highly recommend the National Geographic made film of this book, Mr. Diamond is a principle narrator in it. It's available on Netflix. Do read the book first, the film understandably condenses much of the book, and you'll miss being able to study the maps and diagrams which the book has many of.

haasker
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 3 more book reviews
good book
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 5 more book reviews
Fascinating
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 127 more book reviews
A great read!
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 113 more book reviews
From the back cover: "Fascinating .... Lays a foundation for understanding human history." --Bill Gates.

"Artful, informative, and delightful.... There is nothing like a radically new angle of vision for bringing out unsuspected dimensions of a subject, and that is what Jared Diamond has done." --William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books

"An ambitious, highly important book." --James Shreeve, New York Times Book Review
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 10 more book reviews
"The fates of human societies"- from the cover
reviewed Guns, Germs, and Steel on + 8 more book reviews
THIS IS A SOFT COVER EDITION!! The ISBN number is the EXACT same as the hardcover. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU WANT A SOFT COVER BOOK!