Guns, Germs and Steel is a veritable opus. In one book Jared Diamond manages to compress a gargantuan amount of scientific research, carried across diverse fields and in various parts of the world and digest it in a way that makes sense of 13,000 years of unbalanced human development. The key word here is ‘unbalanced.’ Diamond sets out to answer a basic, if difficult, question: why did humans in some parts of the world develop technology and social complexity much faster than those in other areas. It is an ethical minefield but Diamond navigates it well, and firmly plants his book on the premise that the difference is neither physical or mental, nor genetic. There are moments when the arguments verge on environmental determinism, but they are so well constructed that they are very difficult to dismiss. It is a highly inspiring work!