Gun, Germ, and Steel

The Fates of Human Societies

Jared Diamond

I was thinking of rating this book 4.5/5.0 because of its intense explanation of greenery without contextual information; GGS’s indigestible examples of plants and flowers threw me into confusion sometimes. However, I later thought it would be unfair for Sir Diamond because his book, despite its name, discusses two ultimate — but not equal — factors that have shaped 13,000 years of our history. Those are geography and agriculture which mainly involves the domestication of animals and plants which is unavoidably mentioned.

I think the book is a considerably complete and successful work on establishing solid evidence of geographical locations as furthest factors of current development gaps among the globe. So many doubts were critically questioned such as how some hunting-gathering societies keep their nomadic lifestyle despite early exposure to farming and herding techniques of nearby areas or how Madagascar was civilized by the Southeast Asian, etc.

I personally learned so much about the historical facts of human history and the mechanism behind social developments spreading vastly around each continent. A valuable summer read for more insights of why we end up where we are today. A beautiful example of relative rather than absolute facts of history and nature.

Fall 2019

August 25, 2019, 3:00:00 PM


science, history


Gun, Germ, and Steel