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Produktinformation

  • Audio CD
  • Verlag: Highbridge Audio; Auflage: ; 6 Hours on 5. (27. August 2001)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1565115147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565115149
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 1,8 x 14,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (240 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 401.380 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. Yet his survey is binocular: one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye--and his heart--belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work for more than 30 years. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Fascinating and extremely important... [A] synopsis doesn't do credit to the immense subtlety of this book. --David Brown" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

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Kundenrezensionen

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69 von 74 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Lucullus am 25. Februar 2005
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Jared Diamond is a thoroughgoing geographical determinist. His book highlights both the strengths and the weaknesses of this approach.

Diamond's major topic is the Neolithic Revolution. His intention is to demonstrate that environmental conditions were not equally suitable to the development of agriculture on different continents. Eurasia, he contends, was the most appropriate place. It had the largest number of domesticable plants and animals, an east-west axis favoring the diffusion of inventions, offered good possibilities for inter-continental communication, and was the largest and most populous continent. So the Eurasians were first in developing agriculture, gaining thus a headstart in history. Agriculture led to rising populations and created a dynamic that prompted the evolution of states, writing and a sophisticated technology (guns and steel). These social and technological advantages, plus immunity to the most dangerous infectious diseases (germs), allowed Eurasians to easily subdue the natives of the Americas, Australia and Southeast Asia.

On the whole this argument, which takes up the first 410 pages of the book, is convincing. Diamond is also right to insist on adopting a long time-frame. As early as 8000 years ago Eurasians had a substantial edge over their rivals on other continents, making it unlikely for those peoples and civilizations to catch up.

Had Diamond stopped writing at this point, he would have published a good work.

However, he was not content to treat only the Neolithic Revolution, but wanted to cover all major turns in world history. Hence the last 15 (!) pages of the book are devoted to a completely different subject. Having explained the rise of Eurasia, Diamond now wants to explain the rise of the West.
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6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 14. September 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
Diamond takes on an extremely complicated topic that spans essentially all of human history and boils it down to some very basic premises. For example, he argues that Eurasia (i.e. Europe and Asia) enjoyed the advantage of the lion's share of the most desirable and domesticatable grains and large mammals. This advantage led to earlier agriculture, which led to denser populations, which led to more specialization, which led to better technology and organization, which led to societies better equipped to wage war and conquer their neighbors. Other reviewers, however, take Diamond to task. But is this premise really so darn controversial? The idea that the Fertile Crescent had a nice variety of native large-seeded, protein rich, perennial grains is not new. Heck, I learned as much in my History of Agriculture class as an undergrad (10 years ago). If you believe that Europe was somehow destined to rule the world because of some innate cultural and/or genetic superiority, this book is not for you. If you want wonderful insight into the biogeography of different regions of the earth, and how these differences contributed to differences in development, check out this book. I simply could not put it down.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Lowe On Books am 13. Februar 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Many years ago a New Guinea native asked Jared Diamond a simple 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?" Only slightly rephrased, Diamond devotes this book to answering the question why, from the depths of the primeval forests of Africa, mankind emerged at different rates, some achieving the heights of civilization and technology while others remained virtually in the Stone Age? And why did people on some continental landmasses prosper while people on others lagged behind, especially because some locations, like the California Coast, are mild and desirable while others, like Northern Europe are harsh and forbidding?
Diamond's thesis is that some populations got a head start over others in the development of civilization. But the head start resulted from favorable geography and natural resources, not from any innate superiority. Given the same location and advantages, any group of people over time would have reached the same result. The first beneficiary of geography happened to be the Fertile Crescent. The "cradle of civilization" not only had all five major large mammals (sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, and horses) available for domestication, but they also possessed the major wild seed groups that would become domesticated grain and cereals. Not all areas are so favorably endowed.
Once hunting and gathering gave way to food production, population density took hold, which in turn made possible civic development and technology. The head start then spread roughly along the same parallel east to Asia and west to Europe. Diamond contrasts Eurasia's wide girth and similar climates with America's and Africa's narrow waist and elongated longitude.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 21. Juni 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Reading Diamond is a bit like getting into an engrossing conversation while riding on a train. Suddenly, you realize that the train is at the final stop, while you were supposed to get off three stations back. Diamonds prose is so excellent, his arguments so compelling, his answers to questions that most of us had never thought to ask so persuasive that it is someting of a surprise to finish the book and realize that he has gone too far. Geography may be important, but surely it is not everything. If it were, why was Taiwan primitive while Japan was advanced and wealthy? Why was Holland the wealthiest province on the continent while Denmark was a nation of peasant farmers? Why did northern Italy lead the renaissance only to fall into backwardness, before resurging to become a powerhouse of twentieth century industry? Culture matters. Nevertheless, we are all in debt to Diamond. Rarely are such important ideas presented in such a well-written book. David Fisher's Albion's Seed comes to mind, and Diana Muir's recent Bullough's Pond, but it is rare to find someone who is both an original thinker and a good writer.
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