Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond

The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel seek to answer the biggest question of post-Ice-Age human history: why Eurasian peoples, rather than peoples of other continents, became the ones to develop the ingredients of power (guns, germs, and steel) and to expand around the world. An extraterrestrial being visiting the Earth 14,000 years ago could have been forgiven for failing to predict this outcome, because the human populations of other continents apparently also possessed advantages. Africans enjoyed a huge head start, because Africa is the continent with by far the longest history of human occupation. North America is a big fertile continent, with the result that it supports the richest and most productive nation today. Australia provides by far the earliest evidence for human ability to cross wide water gaps, and some of the earliest widespread evidence for behaviorally modern humans. Why, nevertheless, were Eurasians the ones to expand?,_Germs,_and_Steel.html