All that You Need to Know About Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer


Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a great book that touches on many subjects that are very useful to know in a society that e live in today. It touches on some of the things that have happened in the past and people that were involved in the things that have happened. It talks about why the Asian and Europe countries have had a history of conquering and reconquering each other.

The Massive Race

First off we have to address the many things that have gone on back in the time when the Europe and Asia countries are conquering and reconquering each other. First off there were many dynasties and colonies and groups of ethnic people that did not really have any internationally know borders and most were nomadic of constantly expanding. This is also around the time when you have the giant hegemony of both Europe and Asia on the Eurasian area of land. The dynasties, ethnic groups, and colonies just conquered land and conquered land until they were overthrown, defeated, or had claimed as much land as they wanted. When a dynasty, ethnic group, or colony is overthrown or defeated then it is a massive race for who can grab as much land that they can in as little time as they can.

The Adaptability of People

In this book Jared Diamond is outlining and trying to tell us that the conquering and reconquering of countries is not based on the ingenuity of certain people but rather the adaptability and of opportunity of a group of people or a dynasty. He also implies that countries will be smart and use diseases, ie. germs, to their advantage by going into other territories and peoples land and getting them sick with a disease that they are not able to defend themselves from. Then he tells about how dynasties, ethnic groups, and colonies use smart strategies by taking the enemy by surprise. Also he talks on how they develop an industrial mean of transportation so they can efficiently ship, transport, or export goods and weapons. He also tells on how the dynasties, ethnic groups, and colonies use weaponry to overpower and defeat enemies.

Becoming Military Conquerors

Next we need to talk on how dynasties, ethnic groups, and colonies can become these powerhouse military conquerors from being little farming nomadic countries that herd sheep. First the dynasty, ethnic group, or colony needs to change from a nomadic and hunter gathering people into an agrarian society with a set piece of land. To do this the dynasty, ethnic group, or colony need to have a land that is able to produce and keep producing vegetation so they can survive of that. Next, they need to have access to domesticated animals that are docile and they also need to be versatile enough to survive the temperature, diseases, and other animals. Finally, they need to populate and make a lot of food and have a place to store the food and other supplies that they have somewhere they will not go bad or be infested by rodents or insects or be stolen in a raid.

You may be wondering at this point if it is this easy to become a military powerhouse them why was everyone not doing this. The reason why is because some areas had better land, better animals, and better people that is why Europe became really big and strong in a short amount of time. Europe had a certain plant called barley, or wheat, which was high in protein and much better than what other countries had. Europe also had sheep, cows, horses, goats and many other types of animals that certain groups of people would only have a few of. Europe also had a certain type of material called flax to make tiles and flooring for more modernized houses.

The Questions

An important part of this story are the questions that are asked and need to be asked. A man named Yali whom Jared Diamond had met on a beach had asked him a question. The was “Why you white men have so much cargo, and we New Guineans so little.” At the time Jared Diamond thought wow this is such an easy and obvious answer but he was not able to give the an answer and was at a loss for words. He later found out that by saying cargo he was referring to the possessions or items brought over by Westerners in the early ages.

If you think about it this way you realize that Africans were one of the last countries explored and therefore, had little “cargo” received when the Americas had lots and lots of “cargo” because they were once part of England. Since the Africans did not get as much “cargo” as the Americans did then they were already at a disadvantage from the other countries that had all these weapons and buildings with good establishments while Africa still had huts and pueblos. The development of agriculture is the how available wild edible plant species that are suitable for domestication are and Africa does not really have the agricultural land or the necessary plant life that they would need to start a good society and become a powerhouse.

The Author

It is crucial that you know a little bit of background on the man, the myth, the legend, Jared Diamond, the man who wrote the book and starred in the show “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.” Jared Mason Diamond was born on September 10, 1937 and he is an American geographer, historian, and author who is the best known for his popular books, The Third Chimpanzee, Guns Germs and Steel, and The World Until Yesterday.

He was very interested in birds and he liked to go birdwatching and learn a lot of bird calls so he can see, study, and observe them in their natural habitats. He also spent many years traveling and going to different groups of ethnic people to learn their skills of bird calling.

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