"No scientist brings more experience from the laboratory and field, none thinks more deeply about social issues or addresses them with greater clarity, than Jared Diamond as illustrated by Guns, Germs, and Steel. In this remarkably readable book he shows how history and biology can enrich one another to produce a deeper understanding of the human condition." —Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University "Serious, groundbreaking biological studies of human history only seem to come along once every generation or so. . .. Now Jared Diamond must be added to their select number. . . . Diamond meshes technological mastery with historical sweep, anecdotal delight with broad conceptual vision, and command of sources with creative leaps. No finer work of its kind has been published this year, or for many past." —Martin Sieff, Washington Times "[Diamond's] masterful synthesis is a refreshingly unconventional history informed by anthropology, behavioral ecology, linguistics, epidemiology, archeology, and technological development." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "[Jared Diamond] is broadly erudite, writes in a style that pleasantly expresses scientific concepts in vernacular American English, and deals almost exclusively in questions that should interest everyone concerned about how humanity has developed. . . . [He] has done us all a great favor by supplying a rock-solid alternative to the racist answer. . . . A wonderfully interesting book." —Alfred W. Crosby, Los Angeles Times "Fascinating and extremely important.... [A] synopsis doesn't do credit to the immense subtlety of this book." —David Brown, Washington Post Book World "Deserves the attention of anyone concerned with the history of mankind at its most fundamental level. It is an epochal work. Diamond has written
a summary of human history that can be accounted, for the time being, as Darwinian in its authority." —Thomas M. Disch, New Leader "A wonderfully engrossing book. . . . Jared Diamond takes us on an exhilarating world tour of history that makes us rethink all our ideas about ourselves and other peoples and our places in the overall scheme of things." —Christopher Ehret, Professor of African History, UCLA "Jared Diamond masterfully draws together recent discoveries in fields of inquiry as diverse as archaeology and epidemiology, as he illuminates how and why the human societies of different continents followed widely divergent pathways of development over the past 13,000 years." —Bruce D. Smith, Director, Archaeobiology Program, Smithsonian Institution "The question, 'Why did human societies have such diverse fates?' has usually received racist answers. Mastering information from many different fields, Jared Diamond convincingly demonstrates that head starts and local conditions can explain much of the course of human history. His impressive account will appeal to a vast readership." —Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Professor of Genetics, Stanford University
GERMS AND STEEL
THE FATES OF HUMAN SOCIETIES
W. W. Norton & Company New York London
To Esa, Kariniga, Omwai, Paran, Sauakari, Wiwor, and all my other New Guinea friends and teachers— masters of a difficult environment
Copyright © 1999,1997 by Jared Diamond All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America First published as a Norton paperback 1999 For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110. The text of this book is composed in Sabon with the display set in Trajan Bold Composition and manufacturing by the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group Book design by Chris Welch Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Diamond, Jared M. Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies / Jared Diamond. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-393-31755-2 1. Social...