Success and failure[ edit ] Guns, Germs, and Steel focuses on why some populations succeeded. As I began talking, their classmates showed more and more visible interest, and my sons gradually faced forwards, relaxed their disgusted body posture, and began smiling.
In the past, many people were willing to claim that Europeans were and He says he got the basic idea from a conversation he had back in the 70s with a friend in New Guinea. Two studies have now demonstrated this phenomenon quantitatively and systematically: They share the view that history consists in the effort to identify the particular, past circumstances that make intelligible the subsequent occurrence of other, unique events.
In Africa and the Americas, the spread of agriculture along longitudinal lines is more difficult. However, simply to state that requirement is to expose the attempt to stuff human history into a deductivist framework as the absurdity that it is.
Half of the reason is that a Mediterranean climate of mild wet winters and long hot dry summers selects for large seeds of annual plants able to survive the long dry season, and to grow rapidly and outcompete smaller seeds when the rains return.
Diamond identifies six criteria including the animal being sufficiently docile, gregarious, willing to breed in captivity and having a social dominance hierarchy. That enables the emergence of producers who can specialize in craft manufacture, because once a society reaches a situation in which the labor of one person can supply more food than is needed simply to keep him alive, some members of the group do not need to devote themselves to procuring sustenance.
Other advanced cultures developed in areas whose geography was conducive to large, monolithic, isolated empires, without competitors that might have forced the nation to reverse mistaken policies such as China banning the building of ocean-going ships. For me, that was the first of dozens of encounters with middle school and high school students reading Guns, Germs, and Steel.
But no similar facts are given to the historian. However, one should not overgeneralize those successes by assuming that, because behavioral obstacles to domestication have been successfully bred out of a few wild animal species, they could be bred out of any wild animal species.
The answer depends on a synthesis of four bodies of information, in the fields of social science, botany, zoology, and microbiology, applied to findings of archaeology, linguistics, and human genetics.
However, there remain cases that are often mentioned by my readers and listeners, and that puzzle them, as they do me. Diamond continues to describe the story of human development up to the modern era, through the rapid development of technology, and its dire consequences on hunter-gathering cultures around the world.
Whatever there is to be explained—guns, germs, or steel, as well as writing, military power, and European imperialism—everything is about early adoption of agriculture, the big domestic animals, and the longitudinal gradient facilitating trade and interaction.
As Restall notes, people made decisions to form alliances and compromises. This term is invoked by some scholars in many contexts, in order to deny arguments that geographic factors contribute importantly to explanations of some human phenomena and dominate explanations of other human phenomena.
I also do not see Collapse as investigating agency. He ignores the multitude of instances where settled farmers were conquered by nomadic horsemen: I guess a New Guinea tribesman would, conversely, be surprised at how quickly word gets around on the Internet when a cool new website appears.
Why were those regions not the most fertile and productive regions of modern agriculture, such as California, Europe, Japan, and Java?
Diamond here did not intend to comment on internal social and sexual inequality, or the ravages of disease and despotism for those who had adopted agriculture. The first stage involves continental differences in the antiquity and productivity of food production and food storage, resulting from continental differences in wild plant and animal species available for domestication, and in continental axes.'Guns, Germs, and Steel' is a distorting disservice to the real historical record.
Click To Tweet. Yali’s Question & Central Thesis. This is one of those books which seems at face value as if it has an interesting and persuasive thesis, and indeed there are a couple of reasonable points in here, but by and large Guns, Germs, and Steel is a poorly written 4/5.
More praise for Guns, Germs, and Steel "No scientist brings more experience from the laboratory and field, none thinks more deeply about social issues or. Get an answer for 'What is Jared Diamond's thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel and what question is he trying to answer?
' and find homework help for other Guns, Germs, and Steel questions at eNotes. Guns Germs And Steel Essay Examples 11 total results The Importance of Food Production, Diet, and Domestication of Mammals in Jared Diamond's. Is Jared Diamond's thesis in Guns, Germs and Steel, a form of geographical determinism, historical racism, or just an explanation?Download