The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

The World Until Yesterday What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies The bestselling author of Collapse and Guns Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better

The bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better place for all of us Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity Yet for nearly all of itThe bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better place for all of us Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday in evolutionary time when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years a past that has mostly vanished and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.This is Jared Diamond s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, ian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others Diamond doesn t romanticize traditional societies after all, we are

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The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

  1. Jared Diamond is the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Guns, Germs, and Steel He is Professor of Geography at UCLA and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society He has dedicated this book to his sons and future generations.

677 Reply to “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”

  1. Jared Diamond is most famous for introducing a sort of ecological determinism to public thought with Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies, in which he introduces material context as a defining factor for the economic and social development of civilizations.Here, Diamond focuses on a social cultural context, comparing pre agricultural societies, such as those from his beloved New Guinea, to our WEIRD societies WEIRD is not solely a sly dig at our lifestyles, but instead shorthand [...]

  2. Extremely disappointing There are a few interesting chapters, but I probably skimmed about 60% of the book There is a lot of long winded explanation of things that any high school student probably knows languages are disappearing people are fat religious people sometimes go to war The last third especially just seems like Diamond spouting off about nutrition and education with very little tied back to the supposed theme of the book Really felt like about a 60 page book that was just expanded to [...]

  3. Four stars for content, 3 stars for style.This is from the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel I liked that book for the content and insight it presented, but thought that it s too verbose i.e lots of repetition of the same idea to get the point across This book suffers the same issue Ideally the information can be presented via a series of long form magazine article instead of a tome, but I guess books makes moneyOne difference about this book to his previous is that this work is a combination of [...]

  4. You need to know right up front that I am going to really rag on this book I read every single word of it and feel qualified to tell you it was poor in many respects It would be so much nicer to praise and compliment Diamond s efforts here but I d be lying if I told you anything other than this was a painful experience If you stick with my review, however, I will tell you toward the end what it takes this author 466 pages to say Please don t expect anything revelatory His conclusions are the ver [...]

  5. A full executive summary of this book is available here newbooksinbrief 2013 01 15The main argument The onset of agriculture and farming some 11,000 years ago termed the Neolithic Revolution , is arguably the most significant turning point in the history of our species Agriculture induced a major population explosion, which then led to urbanization labor specialization social stratification and formalized governance thus ultimately bringing us to civilization as we know it today Prior to the Neo [...]

  6. It s always exciting when Jared Diamond publishes a new book and the advance copies were hugely sought after when they arrived at the office in October This is the most personal of Diamond s books, with many anecdotes from his work in New Guinea It reads like the book he s always wanted to write The title is a comment that, in the context of history, we all, until recently, lived in traditional societies and Diamond describes key elements of that lifestyle I found the beginning, where Diamond co [...]

  7. This book is a fascinating, comprehensive view of life in several traditional cultures The best part of the book is the personal insights that Jared Diamond delivers Diamond spent a lot of time with the peoples of Papua New Guinea, and he enthusiastically describes all facets of their lives He contrasts their society with other traditional societies living in the Arctic, in Africa, and with modern, Western societies There are hundreds of tribes living in New Guinea Many of these tribes have long [...]

  8. I read this because it looks at several groups from Papua New Guinea while exploring the differences between modern and primitive societies Since the author spends 7% of his life in Papua New Guinea, at least half the examples of primitive societies come from that area, and he fills in the concepts with research his own and others , current and historic from other traditional societies around the world.There is a lot here warfare, language, diet, disease, family units I was most intrigued by the [...]

  9. Book of the year, 2013, for me 7 pure gold, very twinkly, high in the sky stars If you like anthropology and history you ll like this If you don t think you like those subjects, you might still like this because it is wonderfully well written and very enlightening.If I ever get round to reviewing again, ie if I ever get over being pissed off at for turning into an authors marketplace, for deleting and censoring reviews and shelves, for sharing my reviews, all of them, with Google when I denied p [...]

  10. This is a frustrating book to review It touches on a lot of interesting subjects, but avoids discussing many of the most thought provoking implications It has sections of research picked almost randomly in support of alternately prudent and ridiculous opinions It s heavy on analysis, yet it doesn t have many clear prescriptions at all Its subject is vast, yet his focus is often very narrow I liked many parts of it, but overall it s unquestionably a step down from his past 2, even though it clear [...]

  11. Jared Diamond un her kitab ufkumu fersah fersah a m t r Bu de yle yapt Ger ekten insan n d nyaya ve toplumlara olan bak n de i tirebilen bir yazar Bir hezarfen olmas n n bunda ok b y k etkisi var Olaylar pek ok farkl boyuttan ele alabiliyor.D ne kadar d nya, g n m zdeki avc toplay c topluluklar n bizlerin d ne kadarki hallerine kar l k geldi i varsay m yla, ge mi teki sosyal kurumlarla g n m zdekileri kar la t r yor Her sosyolog, antropolog, k lt r ve sanat tarih isinin okumas , k t phanesinde b [...]

  12. From BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week The first of five extracts from Pulitzer Prize winning author Jared Diamond s powerful new book, that asks what can traditional societies teach us about how we in the west live now 2 5 Second extract from Pulitzer Prize winning author Jared Diamond s powerful new book that draws upon his several decades of experience living and working in Papua New Guinea Professor Diamond argues that traditional societies offer a window onto how our ancestors lived for millions [...]

  13. Consider me a big Jared Diamond fan I read Guns, Germs, and Steel twice, Collapse once, and have watched all the video documentaries There is no question that Diamond is a consummate researcher and will always have a special place in helping me understand how human societies have come about.This book, however, was a vague disappointment Not because the book was bad, but because I had such high expectations of it It seemed to me that he had a bunch of notes and journal entries left over that did [...]

  14. While THE WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY isn t exactly captivating reading, it s a book most will have been glad they read I found the chapters on child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and nutrition most informative and while not idealizing traditional societies, the author makes the case that there is, indeed, much we can learn from them.

  15. Within a relatively short timeframe humans have gone from living as hunter gatherers in small tribes of a few hundred individuals, to agrarian communities comprised of thousands, to city states of many millions with a broad division of labor and a representative form of government This change in the structure of society has resulted in a dramatic alterations in lifestyle While many of these changes have been positive we live longer, are subject to less violence and have access to many goods and [...]

  16. BOTW R4 view spoiler BBC Blurbs Drawing upon several decades of experience living and working in Papua New Guinea, Professor Diamond shows how traditional societies can offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived for millions of years until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature Exploring how tribal peoples approach essential human problems, from childrearing to old age to conflict resolution to health, Diamond re [...]

  17. Jared Diamond is quite famous for his well argued geographical hypothesis for helping to explain global continental inequality Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies This can be contrasted with the cultural hypothesis which relies heavily on the role culture plays in explaining the social evolution and dissemination of technology The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Other Writings Penguin Twentieth Century Classics These positions are not necessarily mutually exclu [...]

  18. First, to be honest I didn t finish the book After three weeks on loan from the library, I finally accepted that I just wasn t engaged enough to finish the book The rest of this review covers why.I ve always greatly enjoyed Jared Diamond s books and grabbed a copy of each one that I ve run across He does an excellent job of conveying a lot of information in an easy to read format and is normally fabulous at bringing together lots of information to make his case.But The World Until Yesterday lack [...]

  19. I was underwhelmed by this book Diamond keeps asking, What ideas and practices can we learn and adopt from traditional societies and by the end of this very long book, I was thinking, Not much There s an interesting chapter on diet heart disease and diabetes and similar Western world causes of death are unheard of in hunter gatherer societies and that really brings home how we are literally killing ourselves with our food choices I can see what the Paleolithic diet boosters are getting at So we [...]

  20. This is a long book At times a bit boring, at others very interesting Long winded but thorough But the interesting parts are worth the short wade through the boring bits The author discusses the major differences between modern living and tribal societies He takes a very frank look at both and analyzes the pros and cons of each Among these was the best discussion of social justice I have ever heard And some very good points about how diet contributes to diabetes, with research among tribes who h [...]

  21. This was the book I wanted Beyond Civilization to be But I knew I wasn t getting that from Daniel Quinn I d not read Jared Diamond before, so wasn t sure what to expect As interesting as nonfiction can be, I have such a hard time getting through itey are seldom page turners So while I liked this one, it did take me a long time to finish The war and peace topics were alrighte question of how to interact with strangers in various societies and the strategies of state government vs tribal groups in [...]

  22. Jared Diamond s first blockbuster, Guns, Germs Steel, was a tour de force marred by one serious flaw In an excessive fit of political correctness, Diamond argued that the evidence he had marshaled about the influence of geography on the grand course of civilization not only made it unnecessary to hypothesize cultural superiority as the cause of the global dominance of Eurasian civilization, but also proved that all cultures are somehow equal adaptively, morally That conclusion doesn t follow fro [...]

  23. The World Until YesterdayJared DiamondRead it in Hardback at 512 pages.Jared Diamond, you are a man of many talents and educational degrees who has travelled the world for a variety of reasons and are able to take many interesting conjectures from so many different points and spin them into a comprehensive and unique vantage point that dissect human history and aim to improve the human experience This is why I read your books, despite the handy cap of an unequal margin of intelligence Last year [...]

  24. Everyone one likes to say how much better it was in the good old days And everyone knows it is just partially true This book can be said to explore this myth with details to determine where traditional living has an advantage and where modern aspects of our lives we would not do without Diamond makes a slightly stronger point by comparing traditional societies and modern ones we can uncover important features of human psychology.The problem remains that observations of traditional society are s [...]

  25. The World Until Yesterday What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies by Jared DiamondI was initially excited to read this book as the subject interests me The premise is to understand how humans lived before modern civilization and to compare that to our lives now Should we try to be like traditional people in order to solve some of our problems However, the I read, the irritated I became with the author s liberal attitude and sweeping claims Many of the so called facts he stated were simpl [...]

  26. This book occasionally made interesting points in comparing traditional societies to modern Western ones However, it often felt pedantic, rambling, and born of the stodgy conservatism old liberals gradually acquire while reassuring themselves that they re just dispensing plainspoken wisdom In short, it was a lot like reading a book of pop anthropology written by Andy Rooney I found it to be quite a disappointment coming from an author I otherwise like It wasn t all bad, though There were interes [...]

  27. I think that the late great Ian Dury got it right there ain t half been some clever b stards Jared Diamond is certainly very clever, and he has a knack of presenting diverse subjects to form a whole argument that is entertaining and compelling In this book he uses his knowledge of primitive contemporary societies to demonstrate what life was like before the advent of civilisation as we know it.Some good insights but it dragged a little for me and I would recommend his books collapse and guns ger [...]

  28. Rating 3 out of 5 This book was not at all as informative or entertaining as some of Jared Diamond s earlier tomes Guns, Germs and Steel modified my world view drastically The world until yesterday is a very personal work with plenty of anectodes from Mr Diamond s own experience in the New Guinea Sure there are some interesting tidbits of information, but there weren t many enough and the book lacked coherence There isn t much discussion of what we can actually learn I don t regret reading this, [...]

  29. Pokud v s zaj maj lid jako spole nost, tak je tahle kniha v podstat povinnou etbou Par dn , tiv , objevn Jedin , co mi zb v zjistit, jak se Jared dostal od studia pt k ke studiu lidsk spole nosti

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