Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist s answer geography, demography, and ecological happenstance Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas Yet his survey is binocular one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye and his heart belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work forthanyearsMost of this work deals with non Europeans, but Diamond s thesis sheds light on why Western civilization became hegemonic History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves Those who domesticated plants and animals early got a head start on developing writing, government, technology, weapons of war, and immunity to deadly germs LJCopyrightReed Business Information, Inc