Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared DiamondGuns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond

In all likelihood you do not need me to tell you that this is a fascinating and well-written book, so I won’t dwell on the obvious. It’s a book I’ve been encouraged to read on numerous occasions and, having read it, I’m not disappointed. One thing I found refreshing was how on-target Diamond remained throughout the entire book; often, in anthropology/sociology/(etc.-ology) books that veer into or are targeted at pop culture, the author makes numerous departures from the main idea to relate entertaining or otherwise informative anecdotes that do not correspond directly to the thrust of the work. This makes the books fun to read (and imparts fun facts on the reader) but has the unfortunate side-effect of diminishing the strength of the author’s thesis. Diamond rarely veers, and somehow makes sure that all his anecdotes are highly germane to the GGS canon. For this reason, despite its length, Guns, Germs, and Steel is actually fairly straightforward and simple to understand.