Guns, Germs and Steel

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Guns, Germs and Steel

Post by newcastle »

Just finished reading a fascinating book on the development of human society over the last 13,000 years....answering questions like " why the west so dominates the rest of the world" and many other puzzling aspects of human history.

Highly recommended.

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Re: Guns, Germs and Steel

Post by Hafiz »

You might like his related book: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

He's a scientist, although initially trained as an historian/anthropologist, who looks for general rules/scientific patterns in history. The history of such historical theories is a bit problematic - most recently Toynbee and maybe the unreadable Braudel. The big theory/vista histories have, therefore, become a bit unfashionable although the ever present economic historian Niall Fergusson has not been deterred. He is widely attacked for the same reasons that this form is history is professionally unfashionable. It gives wide opportunities for interpretation which, in the case of the Scot, is possibly a cover for naked ideology/polemic.

I like Diamond's books, they are well written, introduce you to traditional societies, use approaches not generally used by historians and force you to think about a very big historical picture.

Some/one (?) of Diamond's books have been made into TV docos including, I think, the one you have just read.

Try the Scot - although be prepared for a full on defence of hard core capitalism.

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