Which chapters in Guns, Germs, and Steel are strongest?
Chapter 17 is very strong in terms of its argument in the way that Diamond seeks to explain why Polynesia is the way that it is through reference both to archeological and linguistic proof. Note the following piece of archeological evidence that Diamond uses to construct his argument about the way society developed in this area:
The first archeological signs of something different within the Austronesian realm come from--Taiwan. beginning around the fourth millennium BC, polished stone tools and a distinctive decorated pottery style... derived from earlier South China mainland pottery appeared on Taiwan and on the opposite coast of the South China mainland. Remains of rice and millet at later Taiwanese sites provide evidence of agriculture.
Reference to tangible facts such as these establish historical evidence that Diamond goes on to use in formulating his thesis. One of the significant strengths of this chapter therefore is the way in which Diamond appeals to a number of different pieces of evidence to support his thesis to explain why this part of the world is the way that it is today. This links in well to his argument about the influence of the environment on the people living in this area and their history, and his ideas concerning the displacement of indigenous people by migrating Austronesians. The combination of different historical pieces of evidence that are brought together well to support the overall thesis make Chapter 17 very strong indeed in terms of its argument.