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Download Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Audiobook, by Jared Diamond Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (91,691 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jared Diamond Narrator: Doug Ordunio Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9780307932433
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Why did Eurasians conquer, displace, or decimate Native Americans, Australians, and Africans, instead of the reverse? Evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history’s broadest patterns.

The story begins 13,000 years ago, when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Around that time, the paths of development of human societies on different continents began to diverge greatly. Early domestication of wild plants and animals in the Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and other areas gave peoples of those regions a head start. Only societies that advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage acquired a potential for developing writing, technology, government, and organized religions—as well as those nasty germs and potent weapons of war. It was those societies, that expanded to new homelands at the expense of other peoples. The most familiar examples involve the conquest of non-European peoples by Europeans in the last 500 years, beginning with voyages in search of precious metals and spices, and often leading to invasion of native lands and decimation of native inhabitants. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 2/10/2014

    " I am glad there are people like Jared Diamond who are looking at us and asking the right questions. Then working very hard to find answers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Fuller | 2/5/2014

    " Really loved this crystallization of some aspects of world history into an explanation of (not an apology for) why certain areas supported highly urban, technological societies and why others did not (or didn't need to). I had known about some aspects of the conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecs and Incas, but the degree to which animal husbandry and highly urban societies contributed to certain civilizations' resistance to disease is fascinating. Also, the geographic inconvenience in the Americas of the tiny strip of land at the equator that narrowed (or eliminated) the chances that draft animals from the southern hemisphere could have been used in conjunction with the wheel in the northern hemisphere is striking. A book well worth reading if you are interested in world history (and prehistory). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ad Samad | 1/25/2014

    " This is one of the most important book i've ever read. I hope my children will read this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krystyn Tully | 1/17/2014

    " Didn't love it and didn't find it that well-researched. I think the hype comes from an interesting premise. Disappointed in the final result. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moniplazola | 1/17/2014

    " pretty cool. no surprises but enjoyed seeing things all laid out in a chronological and geographic way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurence | 1/14/2014

    " One of the best books that Ive ever read! Finally we have an explanation of how different societies and cultures evolved and to what level, based on their environment and resources at hand, rather than some racist polemic. Its amazing how much geography is destiny, and how what you have in terms of livestock and plants is such a crucial factor. One comes away from reading this book realizing that every society is in the end, an adaptation to whatever they had at their disposal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 12/23/2013

    " This book was a great read and I learned a lot. I had not thought that rising animals and plants and living from just east to west would help out so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julio Lins | 12/22/2013

    " Not an easy read, full attention demanded. This is an awesome read. Very interesting information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adelaido Godinez | 12/18/2013

    " Excellent analysis and discussion. Compelling argument about the more intelligent societies. An interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 zltg | 11/1/2013

    " The book is full of wonderful surprises. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Constantine Ronquillo | 9/7/2013

    " ... this is a soul searching quest, its historical implications and ideas arent applicable to contemporary economic setup anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Stolz | 7/22/2013

    " It took me a long time to get through this one (not just because it's so long!). But I think it raises some interesting and important theories about human civilization. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 7/16/2013

    " Geeky book, very thick, but I think about this one a lot! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 6/2/2013

    " I learned so much from this very informative book!! A lot of light bulbs came on to why the world is like it is today. Wish I could take a class on this to dig even deeper into some of the theories, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lena | 4/5/2013

    " It was very long, and dry at parts, but it was a thorough way of completely obliterating any racist theories of history, and gave you so much insight into why things happened "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 BB | 10/13/2012

    " Very good but why must ever jared diamond book include chapters about the spread of language? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach S. | 6/9/2012

    " Terrific message/writing that could have benefited by some editing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Warren | 5/26/2012

    " Awesome book. Large concepts, but very clearly written. Jared Diamond is a genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/13/2012

    " Read this for a masters in history class. Very good because it didn't have a strong liberal bias. The Columbian Exchange has always fascinated me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaclyn | 12/24/2011

    " Loved this book. It may be slow.... Like really slow but I learned much "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Wylie | 12/8/2011

    " The best book by a genius of a science writer. Particularly enlightening on linguistic anthropology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kishore | 10/22/2011

    " Awesome book. Makes you rethink the picture of humanity you have painted in your mind. Why human history happened the way it did - biogeography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arturo | 8/2/2011

    " Good book with great analysis and depth of information on "The Fate of Human Societies". BUT after about 1/2 to 2/3 way through the book it gets tedious and repetitive. Couldn't wait to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew | 5/23/2011

    " Very interesting information, but long and very dense. Not light reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paula | 5/23/2011

    " Fascinating! Packed full of details and information, but very readable. Things I wondered about over the years were answered very completely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 5/22/2011

    " A bit too long and somewhat repetitive, but a must-read for anyone interested in the history of civilizations. The most logical explanation I've ever encountered as to why some civilizations and peoples crumble in the wake of others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 5/20/2011

    " White men are terrible terrible people and they win at everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauree | 5/19/2011

    " Not very entertaining, but factually interesting and surprising. A worthwhile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 5/18/2011

    " Very interesting how he compares 'historical science' with other scientific fields. :) Wonderful book, with a very good examination of people throughout history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 5/17/2011

    " This is one of those books that really shaped the way I think about evolution, economics and culture. I have referred countless people to Guns, Germs and Steel as a step to looking at possible reasons why the world has shaken out to its current state. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bmcnett | 5/13/2011

    " rare look at physical, environmental explanations for broad trends in world history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lue | 5/8/2011

    " This book did not interest me. I had to read this for my AP World History class, so I didn't read this just because I could. The book was very repetitive and could have been summarized into a book half as long. The book wasn't bad - Jared Diamond is a great author - but I did not appeal to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 5/6/2011

    " Too dry for me. Found my mind wondering a lot. This did not keep me interested. His conclusions seem too obvious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 5/6/2011

    " Not usually my cuppa, but this was fascinating. There were only a few places where the science-speak made me glaze over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donalda007 | 5/4/2011

    " He puts it all together. Excellent.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 5/2/2011

    " Jared's writing style is a bit dry, and the book could have used an editor with a closer eye to tightening it up, but an otherwise excellent book. "

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About the Author
Author Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Among Dr. Diamond’s many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University. He has published more than two hundred articles and his book Guns, Germs, and Steel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.