Africans, Europeans, Native Americans…

August 22, 2013 by
Filed under: Recommended books and such 

public-article-balk

Causes of worldwide inequality explained

Guns, Germs and SteelWhy did Pizarro capture Atahualpa and conquer the Inca Empire, instead of Atahualpa capturing Charles I and conquering Spain? Why didn’t the Ashantis conquer the British and capture Queen Victoria, instead of the British conquering the Ashantis and capturing king Prempeh? Rabid racists will be sorely disappointed with the answers to these and many related questions, but since I’m pretty sure there ain’t no rabid racists visiting this site, I guess y’all will delightedly read the book that explains it all!

In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion – as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war – and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California’s Gold Medal.

A few years ago I read this book for the first time, and presently I’m reading it again. I like it, and I believe it’s mandatory reading for everybody who deals with different cultures, peoples, histories and traditions (don’t we all?)! Is Jared Diamond correct in everything he states? I dunno. But I do know that he makes sense. And that’s much, much more than what racists do!

Comments

2 Comments on Africans, Europeans, Native Americans…

  1. Beth Peart Weekes on Thu, 22nd Aug 2013 20:15
  2. Must have a look, then. In summary, it sounds like something I have always figured on. I’d like to see the argument presented.

  3. Nanette Furman on Thu, 22nd Aug 2013 21:46
  4. If you want to Really Take it to the next level, get hold of 1492. Even more current info, and incredible explanations. Followed by 1493 which is not quite as good, but still has great stuff in it. Also Thomas Sowell. One explanation for the rapid “advance” of Europe has to do with the ability to move goods around via rivers. Something that both Africa and South America lacked was navigable rivers., which hindered trade, cultural mixing, and the advance of ideas due to those two things. Also, apparently Europeans developed resistance to bacteria and viruses, while the New World inhabitants developed resistance to parasites. Well, guess which one was of more use when pigs hit the new world. Yes, pigs- they carry a lot of the same diseases we do, and they got loose even faster. You will love those books- guarantee. Did you know there were no earth worms in the Americas before Europeans brought them in ? Love that kind of info.
    Whee…