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Guns, germs and steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years

Jared Diamond

Anda Bayliss, Research and Innovation Manager

Reason you chose this book

At a time that racial tensions are resurfacing and people are thinking in terms of (inherent) 'evil' versus 'good', it is sobering to see and account with scientific basis in geography and biogeography of how countries, ethnic groups and historical fates came to be what they are.


An inspirational teacher used to spend summers immersed in new subjects. That was CPD before anyone knew it! A particularly favourite subject of his was how language and culture were shaped by the environment. It was with great excitement that years later I found THE book with this premise and evidence. Jared Diamond offers a synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics in an effort to describe historical trajectories of ecologically and socially diverse societies and explain the differing status of 'have' and have-nots' through their geographic and time location, and the fact that history has been mostly told through Western perspectives.

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Page last updated - 03/08/2019