A study of how Europe and the Near East became the cradles of modern society, eventually giving rise to capitalism and science, the dominant forces in today's world - and why, until more recent times, Africa, Australasia and the Americas lagged behind in both technological sophistication and political and military power. 32 illus.
Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
"A prodigious, convincing work, conceived on a grand scale" Observer "The most absorbing account on offer of the emergence of a world divided between have and have-nots... Never before put together so coherently, with such a combination of expertise, charm and compassion" The Times "A book of remarkable scope... One of the most important and readable works on the human past" Nature "Diamond's sideways-on view of human development may well establish its author as one of the very few scientists to have changed the way we think about history" Sunday Telegraph "Fascinating, coherent, compassionate and completely accessible" Sunday Telegraph