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Post-Reading Essays from Guns, Germs and Steel

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IIIB. Post-Reading Essays from Guns, Germs, and Steel

Why is it that Europeans ended up conquering so much of the world? Why have different continents and regions developed so differently? Why did white Eurasians dominate over other cultures by means of weaponry, disease, steel, and the ability to produce food? As Yali puts it in the very beginning of the book, "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"? In Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel, his thesis is that whites were the dominate race because of environmental differences rather than racial differences in intelligence. This book traces the origins of each of the factors which led to the dominance of many non-white people by whites in recent human history.

Jared Diamond saw the production of food, as the central key to human history. Jared talks about the origin of food production and how it spread from Southwest Asia to other parts of the world. Some people heard about food production yet still remained hunter-gatherers because they were never taught how to farm. People that lived in certain climates could not farm because the conditions were too harsh. Another reason some people didn't farm is because they could not give up all their time. On the other hand those that did farm were always guaranteed a meal because they could depend on their abundance in livestock. The production of food definitely played a key role in a material aspect, mental aspect, as a agent of civilization and as a power source.

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