Based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.
Why were Europeans the ones to conquer so much of our planet? Why didn’t the Chinese, or the Inca, become masters of the globe instead? Why did cities first evolve in the Middle East? Why did farming never emerge in Australia? And why are the tropics now the capital of global poverty?
As he peeled back the layers of history to uncover fundamental, environmental factors shaping the destiny of humanity, Diamond found both his theories and his own endurance tested.
The three one-hour programs were filmed across four continents on High Definition digital video, and combined ambitious dramatic reconstruction with moving documentary footage and computer animation. They also include contributions from Diamond himself and a wealth of international historians, archeologists and scientists.
Guns, Germs, and Steel is a thrilling ride through the elemental forces which have shaped our world – and which continue to shape our future.
Episodes included: 1. Out of Eden, 2. Conquest, and 3. Tropics.
5 Comments / User Reviews
The language used is so ethnocentric and teleological it makes the argument secondary. The lack of relativism in the way the argument is frames is pathetic. Watch this one for the laughs.
agreed, one of the better documentaries i’ve seen in months! big thx!
So Diamond’s ideas have been criticized as deterministic? Why do we so easily accept the principle that other animals can use only the resources the environment provides, while wanting to believe that for us, there’s more to it than that? Diamond tells us that when it comes to the winning and losing civilizations of history, the food supply is the foundation; the more abundantly the culture can produce food, the more people can assume the specialized roles that make civilization possible. That abundance depends in the first place on the plants and animals available for domestication, and some regions have fewer suitable plants and animals available for domestication than do others. So it’s tough luck for the people of the New Guinea highlands and the new world. The “hand we’re dealt,” which is out of our control, and not characteristics unique to certain groups, determines (yes) whether we end up as members of the dominant, rich civilizations.
specially if you are one who seeks knowledge for now, and of our past.
You just need a good deal of patience