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Diamond's treatise on the evolution of man is a compelling presentation. Repeatedly citing how minimal the percentage difference in the genes from which ourselves and our closest primate cousins are made (it has been since proven that the difference is larger than Diamond thought - this doesn't impact on the thrust of his argument, however), he argues that so much of what makes us different is, in fact, so little of what we are. In his attempt to highlight the similarities he introduces lucid and persuasive arguments about sexual behaviour, language, other forms of communication, agriculture and conquest, all of which serves to provide the reader/listener with an good holistic understanding of the factors that influenced our development.
This title is a good precursor for his superior later work Guns, Germs and Steel.
Good narration, easy to listen to - though the quality of what's being said really helps the actor along.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
this book was incredible: Moving and thought provoking, dealing with the harsh truth our impact and has had on this planet throughout our entire existence and also where it may take us.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jared Diamond is one of my favourite writers, and in 'Guns Germs and Steel' and then 'Collapse' he transformed my views of the history and future of civilisation, respectively.
This is an earlier book (1991), containing themes to be expanded in both of his later books, in addition to the main topic; how modern man emerged from being just another animal.
Because the book is 20 years old, you always worry that some more recent evidence may have arisen to strengthen or weaken his arguments, but if you can ignore this relatively minor qualm, and you enjoy popular science, then this is an absolutely fantastic listen.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
A very compelling listen.
The story sucked me in and I found myself listening much longer than I had meant to several times.
Fascinating topic that is well researched, backed up with logical thought, and presented in a fashion that is easy for an non expert to understand.
If you have any interest in evolution and the effects that it had on making who we are now, I would highly suggest this book to you.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful