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Review: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

I was extremely happy to finish this, it was a major letdown for as acclaimed as it was and for having won a Pulitzer Prize.  Diamond’s whole book could have been boiled down to about 20 pages and not have lost any real merit because his theories are so broad sweeping anyway.  Essentially he answers the question of why over the course of human existence did the “Eurasians” come to dominate the globe and not another civilization?  Answer:  Geographic Determinism.  In other words it was inevitable that the civilizations rising out of the Fertile Crescent and expanding on an East-West axis would progress beyond other human groups due to the lack of as many geographic constraints on Food Production.  Diamond takes great effort to refute any racial determinism, which is great if he were presenting this in 1897 instead of 1997 however I don’t think that argument is being proffered much anymore.  As a non-academic, I can appreciate where he’s coming from with his theories and they seem to hold a lot of weight, however, it’s easy to sense where his arguments may be way too broad and therefore weak to an academic in his field.  The book is quite boring and trudging as well, I mean reading about which grains and cereals are easy to domesticate and how they spread drags on for several chapters.