Jered Diamond Essay

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Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize Winning, National Best Selling book Guns, Germs and Steel, summarizes his book by saying the following: "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves." Guns, Germs and Steel are historical literature that documents Jared Diamond's views on how the world as we know it developed. However, is his thesis that environmental factors contribute so greatly to the development of society and culture valid? Not without flaws, Jared Diamond makes many claims throughout his work, and provides numerous examples and evidence to support his theories. In this essay, I will summarize Jared Diamond's accounts of world history and evolution of culture. Jared Diamond begins Guns with a prologue which sets the stage for the rest of the book. Approached in New Guinea by his friend and local politician Yali, he is posed a question: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?" Yali's question flared a nerve in Diamond. This question brought about the thesis of his book, that environment is more persuasive on development of civilization than people may have once thought. In the first chapter of Guns, Diamond establishes two main arguments that will become crucial to his thesis later on in the book. First, he goes in depth about mass extermination and further extinction of large mammals that occurred in New Guinea and Australia which were important for food and domestication, and secondly he argues that all the first civilized peoples in the world each had the ability to out develop one another, but were hindered or helped by their environment. Diamond continues to provide evidence for his thesis that environmental factors play a
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