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What is Jared Diamond's thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel?

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recon19d | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM via iOS

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What is Jared Diamond's thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM (Answer #1)

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In this book, Jared Diamond is trying to explain why it is that the Europeans came to be so much richer and more powerful than everyone else (and particularly richer and more powerful than people in places like New Guinea) by the 20th century.  Therefore, his thesis is his basic idea as to why that happened.

In this book, Diamond rejects the usual explanations for this phenomenon.  People have often said that Europeans got ahead because they were racially superior or because they had a culture that was more suited to innovation.  Diamond argues that all of that is untrue.

To Diamond, Europeans came to dominate due to geographical luck.  This is Diamond’s major thesis.  He says that the huge disparities in wealth and power came about because Eurasia’s geography was much more conducive than that of any other area to the development and the spread of agriculture.  Because Eurasia got agriculture first, they also got things like technology first and so they were quicker to  develop than people in other areas of the world.

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