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The Story of...

At the heart of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel are the stories of apparently commonplace things, such as wheat, cattle, and writing. Diamond believes the uneven distribution of these simple elements shaped the course of global history and played a vital part in the epic story of continental competition.

Diamond also focuses on the physical geography of the world in which we live. For instance, natural impediments such as mountain ranges or bodies of water created isolated civilizations.

He argued that continents which were easily traversible, such as Europe encouraged trade among different people and stimulated development.

In this section explore the basis of Diamond's theory through the Story of... Crops, Animals, Germs, Technology and Geography.

Where to next?

How did different crops spread and where were they most effective? Get the stories of crops with Wheat, Rice, Corn, Sorghum.

Areas with domesticable animals thrived while those with less useful animals lagged behind. Get the story of animals with Cattle, Goats, Horses, Sheep, Pigs, Llamas, or Zebra.

Why did some people survive outbreaks of germs and not others? Get the story of germs with Smallpox or Malaria.

Why did some civilizations evolve faster than others? Get the story of technology with Steel or Writing.

For some civilizations their location was the key to their success or downfall. Get the story of geography with Latitude and Climate, Shape of the Continents, or Cities and Civilizations.


- Wheat
- Rice
- Corn
- Sorghum

- Cattle
- Goats
- Sheep
- Pigs
- Llamas
- Horse
- Zebra

- Smallpox
- Malaria

- Steel
- Writing

- Latitude and Climate
- Shape of the Continents
- Cities and Civilizations

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