Guns, Germs, and Steel

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Guns, Germs, and Steel  
Ggas human soc.jpg
Dust jacket cover of the first edition, featuring the painting Pizarro seizing the Inca of Peru by John Everett Millais
Author(s) Jared Diamond
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) geography, social evolution, history of civilization, ethnology, cultural diffusion
Publisher W. W. Norton
Publication date March 1997 (1st edition, hardcover)
Media type Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD, Audio Cassette, Audio Download
Pages 480 pages (1st edition, hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 0-393-03891-2 (1st edition, hardcover)
OCLC Number 35792200
Dewey Decimal 303.4 21
LC Classification HM206 .D48 1997
Followed by Collapse

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998, it won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. A documentary based on the book, and produced by the National Geographic Society, was broadcast on PBS in July 2005.[1]

The book attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations (in which he includes North Africa) have survived and conquered others, while arguing against the idea that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral or inherent genetic superiority.

Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures, and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.

See also



  • "On Societal Ascendance and Collapse: An Austrian Challenge to Jared Diamond's Explications" (PDF) by John Brätland, 2005
  • "Geography as Causal in Societal Ascendance: An Austrian Retrospective on Diamond" (PDF) by John Brätland, 2009
  • "An Austrian Reexamination of Recent Thoughts on the Rise and Collapse of Societies" (PDF) by John Brätland, 2010
  • "The Diamond Fallacy" by Gene Callahan, March 2005
  • Squaring the Circle by Michael Levin, July 1998