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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Paperback – March 7, 2017

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,585 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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. McNeil, New York Review of Books

“An ambitious, highly important book.”
- James Shreeve, New York Times Book Review

“A book of remarkable scope, a history of the world in less than 500 pages which succeeds admirably, where so many others have failed, in analyzing some of the basic workings of culture process.... One of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years.”
- Colin Renfrew, Nature

“The scope and the explanatory power of this book are astounding.”
- The New Yorker

“No scientist brings more experience from the laboratory and field, none thinks more deeply about social issues or addresses them with greater clarity, than Jared Diamond as illustrated by Guns, Germs, and Steel. In this remarkably readable book he shows how history and biology can enrich one another to produce a deeper understanding of the human condition.”
- Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University

“Serious, groundbreaking biological studies of human history only seem to come along once every generation or so. . . . Now [Guns, Germs, and Steel] must be added to their select number. . . . Diamond meshes technological mastery with historical sweep, anecdotal delight with broad conceptual vision, and command of sources with creative leaps. No finer work of its kind has been published this year, or for many past.”
- Martin Sieff, Washington Times

“[Diamond] is broadly erudite, writes in a style that pleasantly expresses scientific concepts in vernacular American English, and deals almost exclusively in questions that should interest everyone concerned about how humanity has developed. . . . [He] has done us all a great favor by supplying a rock-solid alternative to the racist answer. . . . A wonderfully interesting book.”
- Alfred W. Crosby, Los Angeles Times

“An epochal work. Diamond has written a summary of human history that can be accounted, for the time being, as Darwinian in its authority.”
- Thomas M. Disch, The New Leader

About the Author

Jared Diamond is professor of geography at UCLA and author of the best-selling Collapse and The Third Chimpanzee. He is a MacArthur Fellow and was awarded the National Medal of Science.

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,585 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2018
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278 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2017
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Top international reviews

Grognard
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely groundbreaking. I wish I had read it when it first came out!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2017
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I.B.Leave
1.0 out of 5 stars Seems to fall at the first hurdle.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2018
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23 people found this helpful
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Marcus Gallardo
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious love letter to New Guinea
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2018
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Dave Hodgkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Don’t bother
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2018
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Mr. B. Slight
1.0 out of 5 stars The text is tiny
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2018
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Madrileño
4.0 out of 5 stars This in turn freed up sections of the population for other tasks like technological advance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2018
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Devi
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Casual Read..!!
Reviewed in India on February 22, 2017
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Simone
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 8, 2019
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James Brydon
4.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant blend of 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' and 'The Ascent of Man'.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2015
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The Electrician
5.0 out of 5 stars A new and fascinating view of how we got here.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 22, 2018
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JWH
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Analysis of the Essential Causes of Human History
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2015
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Old Hand
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly valuable contribution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2014
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nicholas hargreaves
3.0 out of 5 stars Human Environmental Adaptation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2012
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Yvonne Kavanagh
3.0 out of 5 stars Font size makes it difficult to read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2018
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JK
1.0 out of 5 stars The print is so tiny it is unreadable.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2020
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