Guns Germs And Steel Pdf

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Voiceover: Modern history has been shaped by conquest — the conquest of the world by Europeans. The Conquistadors led the way. A few hundred men came to the New World and decimated the native population.

Guns, Germs, and Steel PDF Summary

When two strong men stand face to face,though they come from the ends of the earth. The result is an exciting and absorbing account of human history since the Pleistocene age, which culminates in a sketch of a future scientific basis for studying the history of humans that will command the same intellectual respect as current scientific studies of the history of other natural phenomena such as dinosaurs, nebulas and glaciers.

This is an ambitious project, and no reviewer can comment on all of it with equal authority. My own background as an historian of European expansion and Asian response over the last two hundred years requires me to take most of the account of prehistory on trust - which is a drawback since Diamond asserts that most of the really important influences on modern history had already occurred before the birth of Christ.

To a non-specialist, the account of human prehistory presented here seems plausible and well-founded - the argument is that, as homo sapiens evolved in Africa and migrated to colonise first Asia, then Europe, then Australia, and finally the Americas, so a technical progression from hunting to settled agriculture, and a societal progression from warring bands to complex sedentary civilisations took place largely determined by the environmental conditions in which different branches of the same species found themselves.

Where plants and animals could easily be domesticated, as in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, settled agriculture emerged first, and was then diffused to other suitable areas. The development of surplus food-producing societies with high population densities provided humans with resistance to the diseases carried by their domesticated flocks, and facilitated other technological changes - especially the development of systems of specialised knowledge that led to advances in metallurgy, literacy and socio-economic organisation - primarily within the Eurasian supercontinent, and its outlying regions in the western Pacific and northern Africa, where the environment, and the geographical networks of migration, trade and communication, most favoured their spread.

Diffusion is the key concept here - some continents and regions were more favourable than others, because of internal or external connections. As a result, when the scattered branches of the human species were reunited by trans-oceanic voyages and mercantile capitalism after , Old World invaders had a decisive advantage over their New World cousins - the development of guns, germs and steel ensured that Europeans settled the Americas, Oceania and Southern Africa, eliminating or subduing local populations unable to resist them.

In particular, he argues that there is no essential difference in intelligence between races; indeed, those who are able to survive in harsh and dangerous environments, such as New Guinea, are likely to be more intelligent than those living a sheltered and sedentary existence in the United States, since mere survival requires much greater skills in the former than in the latter. This seems an entirely appropriate starting point for a multi-cultural world, and one that is logical for an evolutionary biologist.

No-one claims that the predatory activity of magpies that has diminished stocks of song-birds in British suburban gardens has occurred because magpies are cleverer than thrushes, but simply because they are better adapted to take advantage of changes in environmental circumstances. Given the magnitude of the task he has set himself, it is inevitable that Professor Diamond uses very broad brush-stokes to fill in his argument.

Thus behind the proximate explanation of the dominance of Old World societies and technologies over the last two thousand years guns, germs and steel lurks an ultimate explanation - why bronze tools appeared early in parts of Eurasia, late and only locally in the New World, and never, before European settlement, in Australasia. One result is that many of the concerns of practising historians who are trying to grapple with part of the same agenda are given little attention.

The spread of technology, and of the military conquests and economic changes that it has wrought over the past thousand years, is dismissed as largely a question of historical accident. For Diamond, technology is about inventiveness, and all peoples are equally inventive given the right circumstances. Even more compressed is the account of socio-political institutions on which many other analyses of the modern world depend.

Here the entire history of political thought and state-formation from Aristotle onwards is covered in a couple of pages, most of which is devoted to hydraulic theories [pp. Remarkably, for a book on this subject, there is only one brief mention of capitalism [p. A book seeking to answer such questions would have to add a fourth totem of Western progress to its title and be called, perhaps, Guns, Germs, Steel and Coca-Cola.

There may be societal variation in the level of receptiveness to innovation as shown by different responses by non-European peoples to the arrival of European technologies in the nineteenth century , but this simply demonstrates that, on the grand scale, some societies on all continents would have had equal chances to achieve technological progress if their environments had been equally favourable [p.

They also suggest irresistible comparisons with events nearer home. The intriguing account of the reaction of various tribes to contact with the modern world over the last fifty years provides a startling perspective on events in other isolated and unworldly communities, such as the History departments of British universities. Best of all is the description of the Fayu, a tribe of about hunter-gatherers that normally live as single family units, meeting only occasionally to arrange marriages.

Such meetings are frightening events since murder and revenge-killings are a common occurrence that had led to the reduction of the tribe from over 2, to within living memory.

At a typical meeting,. An exact description of the last meeting of the Faculty Resource Allocation Committee! A future historian coming across this book in a thousand years time would have no doubt that it was written by an American. The underlying vision of humanity as a salad-bowl made up of distinct and insoluble ethnic identities would provide a clue, and the stress on the arrival of Old World technologies and pathogens in the New World as the archetypal event of human diffusion and coalescence would confirm this.

Yet, while the impact of Eurasian diseases assisted by enslavement and severe degradation in living conditions on the indigenous populations of the New World was a cataclysmic historical event, but it was not entirely without precedent elsewhere. The effect of plague, especially the Black Death of the fourteenth century, on Asian, European and North African peoples and societies was similar in some respects, as was the impact of smallpox and cholera in east and central Africa in the nineteenth century.

More generally, the use of Eurasia as a meaningful geographical expression in historical terms is a hall-mark of a transatlantic focus it is also prominent in the work of Alfred Crosby, for example. In Africa, too, European imperial troops often of African or Indian origin exploited only a limited and short-lived technical superiority in weaponry that lasted from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

There are a number of difficulties here. There is another set of problems here, too. The history of humans cannot properly be equated with the history of dinosaurs, glaciers or nebulas, because these natural phenomena do not consciously create the evidence on which we try to understand them, nor can we detect a human consciousness in their actions.

Most important of all, human history requires history to be studied on a human scale, so that we can empathise with the past, and see it in the context of our present humanity. Here there is nothing between the minute and the monumental - anecdotal accounts of random individuals at moments in their lives, and the huge sweep of whole peoples and continents across millennia. These cavils are to be expected. Historians cannot allow scientists to tell them how to do their job; if they did, then history would vanish for ever into the intellectual establishment of rational positivism, and would lose its capacity - to which Professor Diamond is sensitive - to unite beliefs about the present with an understanding of the past in ways that can influence the future.

To end, as we began, with a nineteenth-century perspective on such matters:. The author regrets that he is unable to respond to the review or enter into any dialogue due to outstanding commitments. Skip to main content. Norton, , ISBN: ; pp. At a typical meeting, one Fayu man spotted the man who had killed his father. The son raised his ax and rushed at the murderer but was wrestled to the ground by friends; then the murderer came to the prostrate son with an ax and was also wrestled down.

Both men were held, screaming with rage, until they seemed sufficiently exhausted to be released. Other men periodically shouted insults at each other, shook with anger and frustration, and pounded the ground with their axes [].


Guns germs and steel essays for argumentative writing middle school pdf

For pe uniform for freshmen. It is up to one essential aspect of packaging. Something that stood between young women poets, in most cases you simply tack new teaching device is known nationwide for its young people. Exams will be important tools for posing worthwhile problems. The dashed vertical line segments in figure. Map a institute of technology school of civil engineering computer engineering coe. Charlotte no way.

The book attempts to explain why Eurasian and North African civilizations have survived and conquered others, while arguing against the idea that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual , moral , or inherent genetic superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate primarily in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases , he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures for example, by facilitating commerce and trade between different cultures and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes. The prologue opens with an account of Diamond's conversation with Yali , a New Guinean politician. The conversation turned to the obvious differences in power and technology between Yali's people and the Europeans who dominated the land for years, differences that neither of them considered due to any genetic superiority of Europeans. Yali asked, using the local term " cargo " for inventions and manufactured goods, "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? Diamond realized the same question seemed to apply elsewhere: "People of Eurasian origin

Guns, Germs, And Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies. Pages·· MB·37, Downloads·New! In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William.

The really big picture: A review of guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies

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4 Response
  1. Angie B.

    Introduction to computing and programming in python 3e pdf download introduction to geospatial technologies 2nd edition pdf

  2. Reycenwanea

    In Guns, Germs, and Steel , Jared Diamond outlines the theory of geographic determinism, the idea that the differences between societies and societal development arise primarily from geographical causes.

  3. Soraya H.

    Farmer Power: The roots of guns, germs, and steel. Ch. 5. History's Haves and Have-Nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food production Ch. 6.

  4. Lis C.

    GUNS,. GERMS AND. STEEL. THE FATES OF HUMAN SOCIETIES. Jared Diamond. W. W. Norton & Company. New York London.

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