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Guns, Germs, And Steel: The Fates Of Human Societies

2077 words - 8 pages

Guns, germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a Pulitzer Prize winning book. It’s a 1997 book written by the author Jared Diamond who teaches geography and physiology at UCLA. Around the same year it had won the Pulitzer Prize, the book won the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. Guns, Germs, and Steel tries to explain to us how human history was shaped and offers insight into human foundations and success. Geography plays a crucially vital role in determining success. Jared Diamond revolved his book around one question asked by a New Guinean politician named Yali.
Jared Diamond starts off with Yali’s Question, whom is a New Guinean politician. His question was, “why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own.” His question can be rephrased as such: “why did human development proceed at such different rates on different continents?” Jared Diamond proceeds throughout the entire book discussing the possible reasons for Yali’s question. This book accounts for everything of everybody for the last 13,000 years including specific events for Eurasian civilization as well. In the first part of the book, Jared Diamond talks about human evolution and how they spread from culture to culture. Throughout this book, he discusses the causes of different continents, civilizations, and empires having dominance over another. The Great Leap Forward is when people make the first steps to technological advance. 50,000 years ago, that’s when we were making stone tools and cave paintings. Jared diamond provides insight into the reasons why certain civilization had their Great Leap Forward first.
Geography is of the utmost importance when analyzing the reasons for Yali’s question. Rivers were an extreme plus in a society’s success. Rivers were used for transportation and trade routes for commerce. Rivers provide farmers with irrigation making way for agriculture along with a food source such as fish. Examples of such lay within the Egypt’s Nile River and Africa’s Amazon River. The domestication of plants and animals is a tremendous part in the improvement of humans. Plant and animal domestication increases the rate of food production. The increase in food production trickles down into a whole bunch of other good things that happen as a result of better food production. You will notice a wide variety of cause and effect scenarios. First and foremost, better food production meant a surplus in food because of the rate in which food is produced. So, if systems of people have crops, it would be detrimental to leave the crop, making that group of people stationary. If a group of people are stationary and settled, that would mean that they are not nomadic and one step closer to a civilized community. A surplus in food meant more people. Women were able to give more births rather than be dragged around pregnant while hunting and gathering. With more people, there is...

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