Guns, Germs and Steel

Read :

Diamond, Guns, Germs & Steel: the Fate of Human Societies, 1-66; 405-425; 450-464

Inside Higher Education, Guns, Germs & Steel Reconsidered

William McNeil, The World of Jared Diamond

Tomlinson, A Review of Guns, Germs & Steel

Answer all of the following:

  1. William McNeil says that “Diamond’s argument exceeds its limits.” What does he mean? What are McNeill’s objections to GGS? Do you share McNeil’s reservations or

consider them nitpicking?

  1. What is Yali’s question? Is it the right question, the most important question? Or is it, as anthropologists have suggested, a question that Diamond misunderstands

or, as historians have commented a question which needs to be historicized (that is related to the context in which it arose, the twenty-first century)?

  1. All of Diamond’s critics accuse him of “determinism.” What elements in Diamond’s argument are “deterministic?” Be specific and provide examples.
  2. Guns, Germs & Steel has been wildly popular. College students have claimed it was their favorite reading their freshmen year. People as diverse as Bill Clinton,

Bill Gates and George Romney are fans. A video version played on the Public Broadcasting Station to large audiences. In academic circles, GSS has not been well

received. But people love it. Why?

Sample Solution