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am 29. November 2017
Gut geschrieben, seine Theorie zum Geographischer Determinismus ist mit guten Grundlagen unterstützt, und es ist echt interessant durchzulesen. Habe es in etwa 10 Stunden beendet. Empfohlen für jeder, der sich für Geschichte und Soziologie interessiert.
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am 5. September 2017
Ich habe dieses Buch gelesen und schon mehrmals verschenkt. Man muss nicht 100%ig mit allem, was darin steht, einverstanden sein, um trotzdem sich kritisch mit den Gedanken, die vertreten sind, auseinanderzusetzen. Und endlich hat man hier auch ein Buch, das sich gut liest - trotz komplexem Inhalt.
Ein sehr guter Einstieg in diese Art Sachbücher.
Absolut empfehlenswert!
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am 14. April 2017
Ein tolles Buch, das unsere Vergangenheit und Herkunft in verständlicher und fundierter Weise erklärt. Dadurch kann man auch die Unterschiede in der heutigen Welt, zwischen den verschiedenen Ländern und Kontinenten besser verstehen. Ich kann es nur jedem empfehlen!
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am 15. November 2017
This book is great, it will provide you with new tools to look at the world and get a better understanding of it.
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am 14. September 1999
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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am 17. März 2017
Das Buch ansich hat sicher 5 Sterne verdient. Super interessant zu lesen und sehr gut geschrieben. Man sollte allerdings schon sehr gute Englischkenntnisse mitbringen um es zu lesen (immerhin weiß ich jetzt was Hirse auch Englisch heißt)
Warum dann nur 4 Sterne: Das ebook ist eine Katastophe! Die Tabellen sind teilweise nur schlecht lesbar, wenn sie zu breit sind. Man kann sie auch nicht drehen oder so. Die Abbildungen fehlen dafür ganz. Und das finde ich eine Frechheit bei einem solchen Buch, wo offentsichtlich viele Abbildungen drin sind, auf die auch wiederholt referenziert wird. Der Vorteil der ebook Ausgabe ist aber sicherlich das integrierte Wörterbuch (siehe Anmerkung oben) und das der Reader leichter ist als 450 Seiten Buch ;)
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am 12. Juli 2000
This is a work of power and genius. The writing is dazzling, the thinking incisive, well, perhaps a tad less incisive the closer it gets to the modern world. Diamond notwithstanding, culture does matter. The more complex civilization has become, the more culture seems to matter. Also forms of government, of course. Bad or authoritarian government can drive a prosperous nation into backwardness (look at how Hungary, once an industrial powerhouse, sank once it was locked behind the Iron Curtain) and certainly it is difficult to turn to any explanation other than culture for explaining, say, the different trajectories of varying ethnic groups after emigration to the United States. Fortunately, we are not without books on this subject that are as good as what Diamond gives us on the neolithic revolution and its consequences. Interested readers might take up CULTURE MATTERS a collection of scholarly studies of the influence of cultrual attitudes on economic development. Or BULLOUGH'S POND, a brilliantly written book that looks at the history of a region where culture does, indeed, seem to have mattered intensely. Or THE GREAT DIVERGENCE, in which Kenneth Pomeranz set out to prove that the great leap into sustained growth might have been made by China as easily as by Europe, and succeeded only in convincing me that the cultural differneces between China and the West may not have meant that the West was 'superior' in any absolute sense, but did militate toward an industrial revolution happening in England, not the Yangzi Delta.
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am 8. April 2000
This book is excellent. The book deals with the broad patterns of human societies from expansion to death. It proves conclusively the ecological basis of human society. Patterns of human history are so well explained by ecological, biological, and geographical factors that any other sort of explaination pales in comparison. This is a must read for anyone interested in Island Biogeography and Human Ecology. Probably the reason why other reviewers are squemish about this book is they still want to believe humans are somehow unique rather than being highly social animals tied like all other creatures to our physical and biological environment. All other notions are either racist or nonsense, Jared Diamond is right.
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am 13. Februar 2000
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. Technology and culture can shuttle back and forth vast distances between east and west, but climatic zone differences as well as mountain ranges and deserts inhibit flows north and south.
I have two criticisms of the book. One, it has no footnotes so that one can source out the author's materials. For example, on page 108 Diamond asserts that early man, because of his ego, would rather hunt giraffes than gather nuts. Is that theory his, or someone else's? The very nature of a book such as "Guns, Germs, and Steel" requires that it pile theory upon theory to make a picture puzzle of a distant and hidden past. If key pieces don't fit, the picture may take a decidedly Cubist theme. A few footnotes would help the reader who wants to delve deeper into a topic.

The second criticism is the author's failure to address the role of human intelligence in the development of civilization. Considering the grief Charles Murray took into for writing "The Bell Curve," which held that certain populations have actually raised their intelligence level through centuries of using their brains to solve problems, one understands why Diamond steers clear of the topic - no academic can afford to be tinged with even a hint of racism or euro centrism. Plenty of professors on the leftist fringe stand ready to point the accusing finger any anybody who deviates from the acceptable norm. But surely scholars can deal with the role human intelligence in a non-racist way; after all, the physiology of the human brain is the same in all Homo sapiens. Diamond owes it to his readers to complete the mosaic he has created.
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am 21. Juni 2000
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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