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The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee Paperback – 28 May 1992


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The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee + Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years + Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (28 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099913801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099913801
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

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Review

"Eloquent and knowledgeable account of the tiny genetic difference between humans and chimps" (Independent)

"Some biologists are just scientists; but some truly are thinkers. Jared Diamond is one of the latter. Whatever he applies himself to, his contribution is original and worthwhile" (Colin Tudge)

"A fascinating portrait with more than enough uncomfortable facts to stop any dinner-party conversation in its tracks - an important book" (Financial Times)

"Confirms Diamond as an impressive scholar and popularizer-an enjoyable, stimulating and audacious book" (Nature)

Book Description

How our animal heritage affects the way we live

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Petr Habala on 1 July 2003
Format: Paperback
All my life I have been curious about the world around me and what makes it tick. Evolution being one of the most important aspects of our learning about the nature, I've read a bit on the topic over the years. Now I am not a biologist, but I am a scientist and I can definitely tell when somebody is pulling things out of thin air just because they need to support a preconcieved picture. Most of the books I've read on the subject have been full of this (most notably Wright's The Moral Animal, whose author clearly lacks elementary scientific etics).
It is therefore with great pleasure that I can recommend Mr. Diamond's book as the first social evolution book that stood up to my requirements on intellectual honesty. Indeed, many of the claims from earlier books by social evolutionists, that I found rather wild and unsubstantiated, do not appear here and some are even refuted by Mr. Diamond as errors. As he did with his Guns, Germs and Steel, he pulls together strands from many branches of science to create a rich picture of human past, a picture which is reasonably well documented given how little we really do know and which fits together well. I found this book also better written and better ballanced than the Guns,..., which suffered from excessive political correctness that sometimes clouded the author's judgement. Here he almost avoided political correctness-related spins, and on the few occassions he did he made it clear that he does not take it too seriously, which just ties in with the overall honesty and precision of his exposition.
I enjoyed reading the book very much. It is very well written, often you even do not realize that you are learning new things and there are some genuinely funny places, too. I would recommend it as the first book to look at if you are interested in evolution of the human race.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Polyidiocies on 12 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
The kind of book that changes your world view. A deeply pessimistic book that portrays humans as genocidal destroyers of their environment. Particularly enlightening is its debunking of the common myth that so-called "primitive" peoples are much more eco-friendly than we are. They aren't, they just don't have the tools or the numbers to wreak as much destruction as us. Very bleak, but utterly convincing given the bucket full of evidence Diamond presents. This book deserves to be more widely read than it is. Perhaps it would help prevent the looming catastrophe.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By helloitsmefolks on 26 Aug 2003
Format: Paperback
A book to recommend everyone who would like to know their place in the animal kingdom. There is only 2% difference between the chimpanzee, man's closest relative and us. Jared Diamond tries and largely succeeds in explaining this difference using science and philosophy and just plain logic.
Please read this book, it will help explain a lot about Man, his sexuality, his destructive properties, his creativity and the reasons why he has reached this point in evolution. He discusses adultery, the origin of art, the importance of language, addiction, genocide, the start of agriculture, the great leap forward when Man started to make a significant impact on planet earth and many other useful side topics. He gives us another definition of history. He makes us stand back from our everyday existence and see ourselves as perhaps we really are.
If you have an open mind and want to read a different viewpoint, read this book !
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Nov 2000
Format: Paperback
I would rate this book, along with Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker, as one of the most important and powerful books I've ever read. Furthermore, these two books complement each other beautifully. Diamond seems to pitch perfectly to all audiences, (I studied a biological degree, and the book has passed among many of my non-scientist friends who all claimed to have recommended it to others,) and ranges widely, (through biology, evolution & ecology, paleontology, history, sociology, and linguistics.) The whole is an unfeasibly lucid and educative rationale as to how mankind arrived to be where he was in 1991, and where he was likely to be headed. As with Dawkins, the going is rarely heavy and every page brings a satisfying feeling of having learnt something new. Sometimes uncomfortable, often funny, rarely overbearing. PLEASE read this book. Then read it to others, and recommend as widely as possible!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Western on 2 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book covers most of the themes that Diamond covers in more detail in later books, such as the brilliant "Guns, Germs and Steel". This makes it a good introduction to Diamond's ideas.

As with his other books, the style is easy to read and bursting with fascinating ideas to challenge our assumptions.

The reason I only gave it 4 stars is that it is a little dated - there has been a lot of ground-breaking research, particularly in genetics, since this book was published in 1992 which Diamond would surely draw upon if he were to update it today. However, having said that, I think the key conclusions of the book would remain the same, so it's still very much worth reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Diamond is essential reading for anyone who cares to spend time contemplating mortality and the vast ( but short in term's archaeological time) journey of out species' rise to global dominance .
Well written. Enormous scope of evidence-based research.Humbling. A counter-blast to creationists.
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