The Big Train wrote:Jared Diamond always has something fascinating to say. His most recent book, Collapse, is full of interesting stories about how past socieites have emerged and then disappeared, e.g. Easter Island, the Maya, the Greenland Norse, etc. His previous book, Guns, Germs, and Steel is equally fascinating. It received a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a PBS documentary. It answers interesting questions like why devastating infectious diseases were not passed from native Americans to Europeans in the same way Europeans passed diseases like smallpox to native Americans, and why Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro and his small group of 168 soldiers were able to defeat an army of nearly 80,000 Incas at Cajamarca in 1532.
I enjoyed Guns, Germs, and Steel. I could not understand the critcism from some stating that it did not consider all the factors. Are you an idiot? His thesis is about geography. If you bring in the factors of ideas and religion, you are brining up the prowess of race and culture which is huge taboo.