Guns Germs and Steel

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  • Topic: Europe, Eurasia, Asia
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  • Published : August 19, 2011
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Guns, Germs, And Steel
Author: Jared Diamond
1. Write a short half a page biography of the author; include information about his areas of research, books written, and prizes awarded. Jared Mason Diamond was born on 10 September 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned an A.B degree from Harvard University in 1958 and a Ph.D. in physiology from Cambridge University in 1961. Diamond was a Junior Fellow at Harvard from 1962 to 1966, at which point he became a professor of physiology at the UCLA Medical School. By 1997 he had transferred to the UCLA Department of Geography, where he has centered biogeography and human society. Jared field experiences include twenty-two trips to New Guinea and neighboring islands to study ecology and evolution of birds. He has rediscovered of New Guinea's long-lost golden fronted bowerbird; and other field projects in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As a environmentalist he arranged an absolute plan, almost all of which was forced for Indonesian New Guinea's national park system. Jared was also taking on a lot of projects for the Indonesian government World wildfire fund. He is a founding member of the board of the Society of Conservation Biology and a member of the board of directors of World Wildlife Fun. Jared Diamond has won numerous prizes for his work. Some of Diamonds awards are he National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University.

2. Preface: The author suggests that the roots of western Eurasian dominance in the modern world lie in what? Why has he chosen to write this book in this style and manner? The author suggests the roots of Western Eurasian dominance in the modern world lie in the preliterate past before 3,000 B.C. The dominance of western Eurasian societies themselves and of the societies that they create on other countries. In the modern world they lie in capitalism, mercantilism, scientific inquiry, technology, and nasty germs that killed peoples when they came in contact with the Western Eurasians. Diamond chose to write this book in this style and manner to provide in depth view of history over the past 13,000 years about everybody. He sets out to answer the question motivating this book which is “Why did history unfold differently on different continents”. 3. Prologue: According to the author, why did humans’ development proceed at different rates on different continents? What is his personal view on civilized and progressive societies versus hunter-gathers societies? The human’s development proceeded at different rates on different continents for many reasons. The main reason is geographical areas. For example in New Guinea there are not a lot of crops you can plant. One of their main resources is a tree that they have to cut down versus the resources available in North America, where there are lots of crops (ie., wheat corn and cotton). This alone gives North America huge advantage over New Guinea. His personal view on civilized and progressive societies versus hunter-gathers societies is that he does not think that civilized progressive societies are preferable than hunter gathers. The civilized societies’ have longer life spams and medical care however the hunter gathers have shorter life spam and a higher risk of death. But the civilized have not much extended families and friends. 4. Chapter 1: What was the great leap forward? Describe the life of a Cro-Magnon person. What impact did the arrival of humans have on big animals? Provide an example. Which continent had a head start in 11,000 BCE (Before Common Era= BC). Why? The Great leap forward consists of the firs proven Major extension of human geographic range since our ancestor’s establishment Eurasia. The great leap forward was about 50,000 years ago. The start of the great leap forward...
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