Guns, Germs, and Steel
A. YORK Period 4
Write a short biography of the author, include information about his areas of research, books written, and prizes awarded.
Jared Diamond is a professor at the University of California He wanted wrote Guns, Germs, and Steel, which won the Britain’s 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize and Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote Collapse: How Societies choose to Fail or Succeed. Jared has been on 22 expeditions to New Guienea and islands surrounding it, studying ecology and the evolution of birds. He has also travel to North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australlia. He is also National Park System. He is also one of the directors for the World Wildlife Fund/ USA and Conservation International.
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?
Diamond suggests the roots of western Eurasian dominance in the modern world lie before 3,000 B.C. Western Eurasian societies developed writing and were pulling ahead before other continents.
The author chooses to write this book in this style, because it helps the reader understand the differences among other societies the author states, “It is impossible to understand even just western Eurasian societies themselves, if one focuses on them the interesting questions concern the distinctions between them and other societies. Answering all those other societies as well, so that those other societies can be fitted into broader context.” (Page 11)
Prologue: According to the author, why did human development proceed at different rates on different continents? What is his personal view on civilized and progressive societies versus hunter- gathers?
The author states that, human development proceed at different rates on each continent, because “In the 13,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age, some parts of the world developed literate industrial societies with metal tools, other parts developed literate industrial societies with metal tools, other parts developed only no literate farming societies, and still others retained societies of hunter-gathers with stone tools” (page 13)
Chapter 1: Up to the Starting Line
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, why?
The great leap forward is when human history took off. Early signs of the leap came from East African sites, around 50,000 years ago.
Cro-Magnon people were very advanced in their technology and weaponry Instead of singular tools like hand-held scrapers they used multiple piece tools they were all for “killing at distance” So they used spears, bows, and arrows.
Cro-Magnons were able to kill larger animals such as Rhinos and Elephants by using their advanced weapons.
Archaeologist might have said that the continent that would have had a “head start” would have been Africa. 5 million more years of separate protohuman existence over all other continent Africa had the highest genetic diversity, they believe more diverse could achieve more diverse inventions
They technically can’t predict which continent had the head start but from the read, Africa seems the best judgment.
Chapter 2: A Natural Experiment of History
Explain the difference between the Moriori and Maori Who conquered whom and why? What lessons can be learned by the pattern of dispersion of the Polynesians?
The Moriori people were small isolated population of hunter-gathers only used simple technology and weapons. They were very inexperienced at war, and they lacked leadership
The Maori on the other hand they were a dense population of farmers continuously involved in ferocious wars with advanced technology and weapons and strong leadership.
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