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In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.
This engaging overview of the field combines an accessible account of some of the discipline's guiding principles and methodology with abundant examples and illustrations of anthropologists at work. Peter Just and John Monaghan begin by discussing anthropology's most important contributions to modern thought: its investigation of culture as a distinctively human characteristic, its doctrine of cultural relativism, and its methodology of fieldwork and ethnography.
Published amid a firestorm of controversy in 1859, this is a book that changed the world. Reasoned and well-documented in its arguments, it offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of evolutionary theory.
This is a graphic tour through the unusual stories behind the creation of some of the overlooked items that surround us in our daily lives. This is both a book of histories and a book about histories. It explores how whims beget realities, lies become legends, trade routes spring up, and empires rise and fall--all from the perspective of your toothbrush or toilet. For readers of A Cartoon History of the Universe and Randall Munroe's What If?