According to Diamond's findings, in Guns, Germs,  and Steel, what separates the "winners" from the "losers?"

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond does not really use the terms “winners” and “losers.”  However, we can clearly apply these terms to different groups of people in the world.  To Diamond, the winners in history have been those who lived in or near places where there were many plant and animal species that could be domesticated.

Diamond argues that history’s winners were those people who got agriculture the earliest.  These people were able to create civilizations before anyone else.  Because they were able to create civilization before people from other continents, their civilizations were more developed by the time that they came in contact with people from other continents.

The places that got agriculture first were those that had good geographical luck.  Good geographical luck consisted mainly of having many plant and animal species that could be domesticated.  If such plants and animals were abundant, it was much easier for a group of people to develop agriculture.  Once they developed agriculture, they were able to produce enough food to allow some people to do things other than producing food.  These people became artisans (developing and using technology), priests, soldiers, government officials, and others.  In other words, agriculture allowed civilization to develop.

History’s winners, then, were those who lived in or near places where there were many domesticable plants and animals.  The losers were those who did not and, therefore, were not able to create civilizations as soon as the winners did.