Guns, Germs and Steel
By Jared Diamond
Review by Katherine A (Oriental Studies)
Guns, Germs and Steel was one of the first history books I read that I actually enjoyed! This book gives a global history over the last 13,000 years, so after reading it you gain a broad understanding across a lot of history. This great range of history is useful in finding out what sort of history, or even another discipline, you are interested in. It also makes the book interesting as it doesn’t dwell too much on any one period so it never gets boring. Particularly useful is the section “Around the world in five chapters” where each chapter has a history of a section of the world, especially useful to get an overview of whichever period you want to read more about.
This book also introduced me to some different periods and topics of history I had never studied before, such as the invention of writing, the domestication of food products and the history of Australia and Africa. I found these so interesting as these topics are so different to what I studied in school. It made me realise history was so much more than the Tudors and WWII! Also, Jared Diamond makes the history, even from thousands of years ago, seem relevant to the present day, giving it extra interest. In particular, I found the sections on the invention of writing and the domestication of food fascinating, as these inventions are fundamental to our civilisation yet I had not thought much about these, let alone studied them before. But this book gave me an insight into them, leading me to want to find out more about these aspects of human history.
Therefore, I would recommend this book to people not only interested in history, but in many other subjects, as this book has links to many other subjects such as economics and biology, and is an interesting book to give an overview of human civilisation, an important and so interesting subject.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond