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Jared Diamond - Author

About the Author

Jared Diamond was born in Boston to a physician father and a teacher/musician/linguist mother. After training in laboratory biological science he became Professor of Physiology at UCLA Medical School in 1966. However, already while in his twenties, he also developed a second parallel career in the ecology and evolution of New Guinea birds. That led him to explore some of the most remote parts of that great tropical island, and to rediscover New Guinea’s long-lost Golden-fronted Bowerbird. In his fifties he gradually developed a third career in environmental history, becoming Professor of Geography and of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA.
 

As well as being renowned in academic circles, Jared Diamond is famous for his prize-winning books The Third Chimpanzee and Why is Sex Fun?, and for revolutionizing the study of global human history with Guns, Germs and Steel. His awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (a ‘genius award’), and the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. The broad range of disciplines that he weaves into his writing – linguistics, genetics, animal behaviour, molecular biology and others – caused a reviewer to write, ‘ “Jared Diamond” is suspected of actually being the pseudonym for a committee of experts.’ In his spare time he watches birds and learns languages (he is currently learning his twelfth). He is the father of seventeen-year-old twin sons who have informed much of his outlook on life.


 

Featured books by Jared Diamond

Other books by Jared Diamond

Upheaval How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change

Upheaval How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2019

In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile - through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path towards catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond's work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.

Upheaval How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change

Upheaval How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/05/2019

'A riveting and illuminating tour of how nations deal with crises - which might hopefully help humanity as a whole deal with our present global crisis' Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, at a time when crises are erupting around the world, he reveals what makes certain nations resilient in the face of tremendous upheaval. In a riveting journey into the recent past, he traces how six countries have survived defining catastrophes - from the forced opening of Japan to the Soviet invasion of Finland to Chile's brutal Pinochet regime - through selective change, a coping mechanism more commonly associated with personal trauma. He identifies unique patterns in the way that these distinctive modern nations - all countries in which he has lived - have recovered from these upheavals. Looking ahead to the gravest threats we face in the future, he investigates the risk that the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path towards catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals the factors that influence how both nations and individuals can respond to enormous challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.

Guns, Germs and Steel (Patterns of Life)

Guns, Germs and Steel (Patterns of Life)

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2018

PATTERNS OF LIFE: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel remains a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.

Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2017

In this artful, informative, and delightful (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

The Third Chimpanzee On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

The Third Chimpanzee On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2015

The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1991 and has been in print ever since. This new, illustrated edition is aimed at a young readership. In it, Jared Diamond explores what makes us human and poses fascinating questions. If we share more than 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, how is it that we can write, read, talk, build telescopes and bombs, while we put our speechless and bomb-less close relatives in cages and zoos? What can woodpeckers teach us about spacecraft? Is genocide a human invention? Why does extinction matter? Why are we destroying the natural resources on which we depend for survival? What hope is there for future generations? Not only is The Third Chimpanzee a mind-boggling survey of how we came to be, but it is also a plea to the next generation to make better decisions than their parents and get us out of the mess we're in.

Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality

Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

A fascinating insight into how human sexuality came to be the way it is now - Jared Diamond explains why we are different from the animal kingdom. Why are humans one of the few species to have sex in private? Why do humans have sex any day of the month or year, including when the female is pregnant, beyond her reproductive years, or between her fertile cycles? Why are human females one of the few mammals to go through menopause? Human sexuality seems normal to us but it is bizarre by the standards of other animals. Jared Diamond argues that our strange sex lives were as crucial to our rise to human status as were our large brains. He also describes the battle of the sexes in the human and animal world over parental care, and why sex differences in the genetic value of parental care provide a biological basis for the all-too-familiar different attitudes of men and women towards extramarital sex.

Kollaps

Kollaps

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 20/11/2014

Der Weltbestseller als erweiterte Neuausgabe!Die uberwucherten Tempelruinen von Angkor Wat, die zerfallenden Pyramiden der Maya in Yucatan und die ratselhaften Moai-Statuen der Osterinsel - sie alle sind stille Zeugen von einstmals bluhenden Kulturen, die irgendwann verschwanden. Doch was waren die Ursachen dafur? Jared Diamond zeichnet in seiner erweiterten, faszinierenden wie hochaktuellen Studie die Muster nach, die dem Untergang von Gesellschaften (oder ihrem Uberleben) zugrunde liegen, und zeigt, was wir fur unsere Zukunft daraus lernen konnen.

Collapse

Collapse

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 04/11/2014

In Jared Diamond's follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion, and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilizationEnvironmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society's apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

Vermachtnis

Vermachtnis

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 25/10/2012

Noch heute leben zahlreiche Stamme als Jager und Sammler in unzuganglichen Teilen der Welt. Jared Diamond, Professor fur Geographie und international erfolgreicher Bestsellerautor, kennt sie aus vielen Expeditionen, die er in den letzten Jahrzehnten geleitet hat. In seinem neuen Buch entfaltet er den ganzen Reichtum ihrer verbluffend anderen Lebensweise und zeigt anschaulich, was wir heute von ihnen lernen konnen. Eine uberraschende und unterhaltsame Lektion uber die Vielfalt der Kulturen - und eine Kritik unseres modernen Selbstverstandnisses."e;Jared Diamond schreibt mit Witz, Esprit und groem Sachverstand."e;Die Welt"e;Die Zivilisation hat uns reich, satt und bequem gemacht, aber nicht rundum zufrieden. Jared Diamond hilft uns zu erkennen, woran das liegt. Und nicht nur das: Er sagt uns auch, was wir besser machen konnen. Vorbilder gibt es genug, von Afrika bis Neuguinea."e;Stern"e;Eine Fundgrube und ein Gedankenanreger ohnegleichen."e;Financial Times Deutschland"e;Auf Diamond passt das uberstrapazierte Wort vom Universalgelehrten genau, dazu gehort auch, dass er Autodidakt geblieben ist, um Wissenslucken bald zu schlieen, wenn die sich neu offneten. Er ist die Lernfahigkeit selbst."e;Die Zeit"e;Wichtige Einsichten in unser traditionelles wie modernes Menschsein."e;Der Tagesspiegel

Third Chimpanzee

Third Chimpanzee

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 03/04/2012

The Development of an Extraordinary SpeciesWe human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet -- having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art -- while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? In this fascinating, provocative, passionate, funny, endlessly entertaining work, renowned Pulitzer Prizewinning author and scientist Jared Diamond explores how the extraordinary human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world . . . and the means to irrevocably destroy it.

Primates The Road to Self-Sustaining Populations

Primates The Road to Self-Sustaining Populations

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2011

This conference represents the first time in my life when I felt it was a misfor- tune, rather than a major cause of my happiness, that I do conservation work in New Guinea. Yes, it is true that New Guinea is a fascinating microcosm, it has fascinating birds and people, and it has large expanses of undisturbed rainforest. In the course of my work there, helping the Indonesian government and World Wildlife Fund set up a comprehensive national park system, I have been able to study animals in areas without any human population. But New Guinea has one serious drawback: it has no primates, except for humans. Thus, I come to this conference on primate conservation as an underprivileged and emotionally deprived observer, rather than as an involved participant. Nevertheless, it is easy for anyone to become interested in primate conserva- tion. The public cares about primates. More specifically, to state things more realistically, many people care some of the time about some primates. Primates are rivaled only by birds, pandas, and the big cats in their public appeal. For some other groups of animals, the best we can say is that few people care about them, infrequently. For most groups of animals, no one cares about them, ever.

Natural Experiments of History

Natural Experiments of History

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2011

Some central questions in the natural and social sciences can't be answered by controlled laboratory experiments, often considered to be the hallmark of the scientific method. This impossibility holds for any science concerned with the past. In addition, many manipulative experiments, while possible, would be considered immoral or illegal. One has to devise other methods of observing, describing, and explaining the world. In the historical disciplines, a fruitful approach has been to use natural experiments or the comparative method. This book consists of eight comparative studies drawn from history, archeology, economics, economic history, geography, and political science. The studies cover a spectrum of approaches, ranging from a non-quantitative narrative style in the early chapters to quantitative statistical analyses in the later chapters. The studies range from a simple two-way comparison of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, to comparisons of 81 Pacific islands and 233 areas of India. The societies discussed are contemporary ones, literate societies of recent centuries, and non-literate past societies. Geographically, they include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, western Europe, tropical Africa, India, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific islands. In an Afterword, the editors discuss how to cope with methodological problems common to these and other natural experiments of history.

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 18/01/2011

In this ';artful, informative, and delightful' (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religionas well as nasty germs and potent weapons of warand adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal.

Warum macht Sex Spa?

Warum macht Sex Spa?

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 05/10/2009

Der Bestsellerautor Jared Diamond uber die bizarre Sexualitat des MenschenWarum betreiben wir Menschen Sex hauptsachlich zum Vergnugen statt zur Fortpflanzung und Erhaltung der Art? Und lauft das nicht der Evolution zuwider? Warum Sex mit Frauen, die schwanger oder jenseits der Menopause sind? Sex konnte doch energiesparend auf die fruchtbaren Tage beschrankt werden ...Mit Witz, Esprit und groem Sachverstand erlautert der mehrfach ausgezeichnete Evolutionsbiologe Jared Diamond, wie sich der Mensch in seinem Sexualverhalten von anderen Tieren unterscheidet - und dass genau darin der Schlussel zu seinem evolutionaren Erfolg liegt.

Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/01/2006

From groundbreaking writer and thinker Jared Diamond comes an epic, visionary new book on the mysterious collapse of past civilizations - and what this means for our future. Why do some societies flourish, while others founder? What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island or to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Collapse also shows how unlike our ancestors we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors.

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

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

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/10/2001

The no. 1 bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel explores the profound lessons that traditional societies offer us today Over the past 500 years, the West achieved global dominance, but do Westerners necessarily have better ideas about how to raise children, care for the elderly, or simply live well? In this epic journey into our past, Jared Diamond reveals that traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms. Drawing on decades of his own fieldwork, Diamond explores how tribal people approach essential human problems, from health and diet to conflict resolution and language, and discovers they have much to teach us. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a #1 international bestseller. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.

Why Is Sex Fun?

Why Is Sex Fun?

Author: Jared Diamond Format: eBook Release Date: 25/09/1998

To us humans the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female cant be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesnt know her precise time of fertility and certainly doesnt advertise it to human males by the striking color changes, smells, and sounds used by other female mammals.Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest ancestor, the apes? Why does the human female, virtually alone among mammals go through menopause? Why does the human male stand out as one of the few mammals to stay (often or usually) with the female he impregnates, to help raise the children that he sired? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large?There is no one better qualified than Jared Diamondrenowned expert in the fields of physiology and evolutionary biology and award-winning authorto explain the evolutionary forces that operated on our ancestors to make us sexually different. With wit and a wealth of fascinating examples, he explains how our sexuality has been as crucial as our large brains and upright posture in our rise to human status.

Guns, Germs And Steel

Guns, Germs And Steel

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/04/1998

**WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE** Over One Million Copies Sold 'A book of big questions, and big answers' Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Chimpanzee how our animal heritage affects the way we live

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Chimpanzee how our animal heritage affects the way we live

Author: Jared Diamond Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/1992

From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel More than 98 % of human genes are shared with two species of chimpanzee. The 'third' chimpanzee is man. Jared Diamond surveys our life-cycle, culture, sexuality and destructive urges both towards ourselves and the planet to explore the ways in which we are uniquely human yet still influenced by our animal origins.