"Guns germs and steel" (GGS in short) is a widely acclaimed, Pulitzer prize winning work of the historian Jared Diamond, who tells about the history of human societies since their inception, focusing on the question of why were those the Europeans who've settled the Americas and Australia, and not the other way around.

With this as the main line of narration, Diamond provides breathtaking accounts of early human history, since around 10,000 BC, when the first real human societies (at least the documented ones) began. The reader will learn, in quite some detail, the history of food production, agriculture, animal domestication, human societies, from packs to tribes to states. In addition, the authors spends some time presenting the early history of the colonization of Australia and Polynesia, the discovery and conquest of America by Europeans, and the geographic and cultural differences between China and Europe, in ancient times and today.

Another topic discussed is writing and alphabet, how and why it developed in various parts of the world and how it affected the fates of different societies.

The author is very diligent in trying to bash the common opinion that states that the differences in human societies stem from basic genetic differences between the people. His claim, on the other hand, is that the reason is different geography and environment. My only criticism of this book is really that he tends to repeat this a bit too much, and in the end it starts to feel like "old news".

To summarize, this book is very well written and is very enjoyable. Reading a history book was never so much fun for me before.


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