Guns, Germs, and Steel | Study Guide

Jared Diamond

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Course Hero, "Guns, Germs, and Steel Study Guide," October 13, 2017, accessed September 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Guns-Germs-and-Steel/.

Guns, Germs, and Steel | Chapter Summaries

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Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Prologue The prologue begins with the central question of the book. On a 1972 trip to New Guinea, Diamond was talking with a frie... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 1 Diamond begins Chapter 1 by sketching the evolutionary history of humankind from its origins in Africa 7 million years a... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 Chapter 2 looks at the expansion of humans throughout the Polynesian islands. It argues the case for geographic factors ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 Chapter 3 is the final chapter of Part 1. It opens with a description of the capture and murder of the Inca emperor Atah... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 4 Chapter 4 begins with an anecdote about Diamond's time as a teenager working on a midwestern farm. He explains how a Bla... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 5 Chapter 5 shows how and why farming developed in only a few regions in the world. It asks why it developed in certain pl... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 6 This chapter explores the challenge behind saying with any finality how and why farming developed as it did. Diamond fir... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 7 Why are certain plants domesticated for human consumptions and others not? This question guides Chapter 7, and for answe... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 8 Why did agriculture develop in some areas and not others? And why were some of the most fertile regions, such as Califor... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 9 Chapter 9 does for mammals what the previous chapter did for crops. Diamond's central question focuses on why only certa... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 10 Diamond begins Chapter 10 by comparing the major axes of the continents. While the Americas and Africa are mostly on a n... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 11 Chapter 11 asks why the exchange of deadly diseases was virtually unidirectional between Europeans and peoples in the Am... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 12 Chapter 12 is about the relationship of literacy to geography and conquest. Diamond explains that "writing marched toget... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 13 Chapter 13 explores the development of technology and asks questions about how and why technological innovation is advan... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 14 Chapter 14 is a discussion of the types of human political organization and the rise of states as the dominant mechanism... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 15 Chapter 15 applies the arguments of Parts 2 and 3 to the history of Australia and New Guinea. It begins with an account ... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 16 Most states and nations form as a result of conquering many other peoples and bringing them under a unitary government. ... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 17 Chapter 17 is about the spread of speakers of Austronesian languages throughout the Polynesian islands. Diamond's argume... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 18 Chapter 18 rehashes familiar territory with the basic question, "Why did Europeans reach and conquer the lands of Native... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 19 In Chapter 19 Diamond turns for the first time to an extensive discussion of the history of Africa. In much the same way... Read More
Epilogue The epilogue usefully restates Diamond's arguments in broad strokes and makes the additional case for the study of histo... Read More
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