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.