It's very easy to see why this book won a Pulitzer. Diamond asks the fundamental question that countless others have: Why did some cultures develop so much technology and others so little? But unlike most others who have asked, Diamond has investigated and come up with an answer. He readily dismantles arguments based on racism and suppression and gets to the heart of the matter, carefully guiding the reader along with well thought-out, fact-based explanations. There are plenty of analogies to help illustrate points and lots of personal anecdotes help maintain a human element, which is crucial. After all, the whole point of the book is to illuminate our human commonality. — Nate George
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, 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.