Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel was an interesting read to me because he focuses on societies that were not successful in order to understand how the powerful ones were able to come about. He is also continuously challenging the reader by stating that we should try to come to the conclusion of ultimate explanations. However, when in comes to these conclusions, I don’t think Diamond is able to provide insightful answers. For example, in the food power chapter Diamond explains how hunter-gatherers were less advantaged than those that domesticated animals and plants. I thought I would find out some innovative reason as to why they came about but his “ultimate explanations” were reasons that were very much straightforward. I mean it’s pretty obvious that with more food, you can feed more people so there will be denser populations. On top of that I would assume he would provide some kind of evidence to these conclusions but he doesn’t. Furthermore, in the next chapter, “History’s Haves and Have-Nots” Diamond asks so many thought-provoking questions as to why food production began at different times in different regions. And ultimately his conclusion is a list of regions and its primary domesticates. I think many times throughout the book, he is able to pump the reader up of curiosity and then when it comes to the reasoning, it just doesn’t get interesting anymore because of the bland answers.