Venkatachalam on Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel” Essay (Book Review)

August 17, 2021 by Essay Writer

Thesis on guns, germs, and steel

According to Eurasian civilizations, the impact of disproportionate distribution of power and wealth in the society and the effect of “positive feedback loop” emerge as critical issues of concern. The argument that farming, domestication, innovation, and population density and patterns could harm society is evident in the author’s explanation of the emergence and survival of Eurasian civilizations.

The thesis is highly supported by the arguments aligned to the fact that differences among state technological and economic powers give an undue advantage to some countries. Military supremacy and injustice result in bad governance. Powerful military groupings help to prove that the Eurasian civilization is a major issue of concern in the society. In the book, it is apparent that the technological and military disparities between the Europeans and the Guinean people and not the presumed genetic superiority of the Europeans help to enhance the survival of the Eurasian civilizations.

Summary of the main thesis

Inappropriate and un-proportional allocation of power proves that Eurasian civilizations cause a lot of challenges to the overall unity, economic development, and welfare of citizens both in Europe and other regions. This fact is proved by the argument that originally, the Eurasian people highly dominated other communities in terms of their wealth, technological know-how, political power, and economic welfare. The Eurasian people have a lot of political and military advantages as explained in the unfair relationship between the European people and those of Guinea, China, and other states.

The issues of the existence of colonizers are reinforced by the argument that ever since the ice age, the early development of the agricultural sector is proof of the existence of “dominant colonizers”. Powerful military organizations and strong dictatorial leadership approach mainly to enhance the economic, political, social, and technological dominance of some countries or regions. The division of the world between the rich and the poor and how the rich control major world economies is proof of the degree to which the Eurasian civilizations suffer in the modern world.

This fact is effectively explained by the description of the lives of the Europeans, the Khoisan people, the Sub-Saharan Africans, New Guineans, Aboriginal Australians, and Native Americans. The issue of “dominant colonizers” proves that a strong correlation between deadly killer diseases, European expansion, modern technological inventions, and agricultural development exists.

Evaluation of Venkatachalam’s book


The book review offers an in-depth analysis of many crucial issues. This positive aspect of the review is based on the fact that a lot of detailed information that reveals how technology evolved is presented clearly. There is a clear connection between food production and globalization. As historical research, the book review is undertaken in a very objective manner. The review is also well organized with the focus put on the most crucial aspects of the book. It is important to note that the book provides the necessary credentials on which to make improvements in the field of technology.

The review successfully provokes the reader to have the desire to study more vital issues that relate to food production and technological advancement and how the two relate to the existing bio-geographical framework. The scope and coverage of different materials and their unique use are highlighted. The fact makes the review to have a strong historical foundation. The key issues addressed such as Indian astronomy are well-reviewed.

Through the review, it is evident that the east-west story reveals the existence of both ultimate and proximate causes of unfair economic, political, and technological dominance aimed at fostering economic colonial dominance.


While the book which is based on the studied article explains the emergence of food production and the correlation between food production and technological advancement, the review fails to assess other key social, cultural, and political issues. The issues have an impact on food production. The book review is objective.However, one of its failures is to address critical issues of concern that any reader of the book would raise.

The review leaves many questions unanswered instead of enabling the reader to understand matters that relate to technological advancement. It is unfair to suggest that the rise and spread of food production is the sole determinant of technological advancement as Venkatachalam’s book seems to suggest. Concerning how chapters four and five are structured, the book review is done in a biased manner aimed at portraying agriculture as a preserve of the poor and the unfortunate. The review of chapters four and five on semiconductors and the discovery of “buckyballs” respectively are not well linked to technological advancement.

Telegraph Messenger Boys Book.In the book, the invention of telegraphy is explained as a very timely advent that leads to greater technological inventions and broadening of the aspects related to human in-depth interaction with various communication technologies. The book supports the thesis that the “post-1850 technology” on communication was an intentional effort aimed at enhancing full social, political, and cultural interactions with people thus enhancing reliability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in communication.

The Telegraph Messenger Boys Book, through the explanation of the use of telegraphy messengers, reveals the progressive manner in which technology emerged to the extent of leading to modern interactive communication technologies. It reveals the significance of technology in people’s lives and also defends the slow yet very progressive development of various interactive means of communication that have become popular in contemporary society.

As is the case with a “messenger boy”, the reliability of a given means of communication highly enhances its relevance. By comparing a telegraph messenger boy to effective communication, the author succeeds in stating that collection, conceptualization, and delivery of messages should be timely and less strenuous. The book also defends its thesis by use of an objective approach in revealing that relevant time and coverage of a given mode of communication matters a lot in determining the reliability of a given communication strategy. Economic telegraph delivery focused on minimizing labor costs, increasing message speed, and widening the message coverage area.

Technology played a central role in the emergence of popular culture (Downey, 2002). The thesis is also defended in the book by the revelation that the Western Union and other modern communication and money transfer systems have evolved from the concept of effective and reliable “telegraph messenger boys.” Labor, technological inventions, and geographical factors have highly shaped the emergence and development of key information technologies. Telegraph communication is explained as a modern communication platform that has continued to reshape the social, cultural, and religious practices in modern society. Modern technologies and information systems have not only transformed the concept of telegraphy but have also led to the emergence of new and better information systems (Downey, 2002).


Diamond, J. (1998). Guns, Germs and Steel: A History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years. New York, USA: Vintage Publications.

Downey, G J. (2002). Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography, 1850-1950, Routledge, USA: Taylor & Francis Group. Web.

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