Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The World Until Yesterday - Jared Diamond

I’ve already said that Jared Diamond is one of my favorite authors and popular science writers. I don’t need to say it again, and by doing that I’ve basically said it again. No problem: he deserves it.
Diamond’s works are the ones I would have liked to read when I was at school. I think he also writes young readers editions. Some of his lessons would do great as schoolbook chapters.
He’s particularly skilled at explaining why, over the course of aeons, the world, the environment, living organisms and human societies have become (as opposed to have always been) what they are today.

In this book he explores the difference between various types of human civilizations, from the most traditional ones (hunter-gatherer bands and tribes) to the most complex (nowadays states) and tries to select the lessons we might learn from our ancestors, mentioning also the aspects for which, on the other hand, modern societies are preferable. The areas covered are numerous: conflict resolution (from minor disagreements to full fledged wars), care of the elderly, children upbringing, multilingualism and nutrition are just a few of them.

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