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 for more than 30 years.