Guns, Germs, and Steel Preface/Prologue Summary

Jared Diamond

Preface/Prologue Summary

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond sets out to explain why people from Eurasia, and not people from other continents, conquered much of the rest of the world. At the outset of the book, Diamond rejects the idea that any moral, intellectual, or genetic factor could have produced a race of inherently superior people. Instead, he argues that environmental and geographical factors allowed Eurasians to advance faster than their counterparts elsewhere.

Diamond explains that he became interested in exploring the historical inequalities between human societies in July 1972, when he was studying bird evolution in New Guinea. One day, he was walking along a beach, and he struck up a conversation with a charismatic...

(The entire section is 712 words.)