Analysis Of Guns, Germs And Steel By Jared Diamond

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Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies endeavors to answer a simple but vastly complicated question of how did certain people develop useful items, or “cargo” as Yali, the man who asked the original question, worded it, while other people did not. According to Diamond, while the developments immediately preceding interaction among groups of people is what decides the outcomes of the interactions, it 's where the people come from, their environment, that ultimately decides the outcome (Diamond 25). The people that dominate the modern world are the ones who, as a society, have the superior and more effective weaponry and means of communicating (Diamond 76). The creation of swords like that of Pizarro …show more content…
The domestication of animals also allowed for farmers to more effectively farm their land (Diamond 74). However, not all places had land that was suitable for the development of agricultural practices that would produce enough food surplus for the people to have specialists that could create better weapons, better farming techniques, etc. that would lead to organized politics (Diamond 58-62). Some places did not have enough land or the land was not suitable to crops, or at least the crops they had domesticated up to that point (Diamond 57). The available amount of arable land not only limited how much food was available, but also limited the population that could live in that area (Diamond 57). The environment not only impacted the farming techniques and the population but also affected the number and types of weapons and tools the people could make (Diamond 63). Having the material needed to make weapons in the first place is a necessary starting point for developing better weapons. Thus, those who live in an area with an abundant amount of metals and other materials that can used to make tools were able to develop more and better …show more content…
He claims that Diamond envisions human innovation too much as a guaranteed occurrence that he too easily attributes to the number of people in a population in an effort to make history an exact science (McNeill 3, 4). McNeill also claims that, while Diamond 's general accuracy is also generally unquestionable, much of his account and his claims are based off of inference (McNeill 2). McNeill isn 't wrong in thinking that Diamond does not give enough credit to innovation when he attempts answer to Yali 's question. In addition to this criticism of Diamond, McNeill adds that “cultural autonomy”, which he has loosely defined as an idea or a cluster of ideas within a group, has a much larger impact on the development of modern history than Diamond allows for, especially the development of language (McNeill 3). He maintains that Diamond treats history too much like a biological science and does not give enough credit to the human innovation that is more than just a “reflex of numbers” that Diamond so believes (McNeill

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