The Accursed Sovereign

Guns, Germs, Steel, and… People?

Posted in Criticism, Kibble, Literature, Philosophical Anthropology by bradishn on July 17, 2010

In the recently-acquired doldrums of bumming around in Pendleton, Oregon, I’ve stepped up my reading, venturing so far as to pick up the pop-history piece, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.  I apparently stepped too far.  Diamond succeeds in extrapolating upon the commonly-agreed genesis of human beings and modern societies.  However, he achieves this at the expense of disregarding what exactly it means to write history.  At points, his account reads as though it were a philosophy of what humans were like at the very beginnings of civilization.  In the end, all it does is reaffirm scholarly liberal notions of the foundations of civilization, without offering any truly unique work.  As a work of synthesis, it definitely succeeds.  In the end, however, Diamond should probably stick to science, rather than entering into the realm of the historian as though he can prove something.

Perhaps it’s merely the frustration of finding myself in Pendleton, but I found this book just as frustrating as the time it took to read it.  Back to classic science fiction…

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