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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I found so far
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...
Published on 1 July 2003 by Petr Habala

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50 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat confused
First the good points. Jared Diamond writes excellently and makes some very good arguments, his humanity and morality is evident throughout the book. The later part of the book, which highlights many of the modern worlds more repugnant acts (especially on genocide) is a masterpiece in the critique of human barbarity and it's attempted justifications. Though there is no...
Published on 16 Oct 2004 by Amazon Customer


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I found so far, 1 July 2003
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak but brilliant, 12 Feb 2010
By 
Polyidiocies (La Mancha, Spain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read to change your view of the world !, 26 Aug 2003
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading., 29 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Diamond's ideas, 2 Nov 2013
By 
M. Western (Dunfermline, Fife, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars necessary reading if we are to truly understand out place in time and space and the history of this planet, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read book, 29 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (Paperback)
I usually read books on war/history, but on ocassion search out something different and it has to be good for me to stick with it. This book is epic and if you have only a passing interest in human nature/science you'll love this book.
Its written in a simple, direct but fast moving manner.
Great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A journey in the history of mankind, 16 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (Paperback)
A very clever aperçu of the history of the struggle to develop a thinking brain, all of the earth as its stage and the most modern instruments applied to the sciences of enquiry in the fossils that tell breathtaking tales. A very stimulating and perspective-changing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 25 Sep 2009
By 
Gadget Fan "G-ESS" (Hamilton, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (Paperback)
Have now read two of his books, they are first class, very interesting and written in an easy to read style. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the development of mankind from the beginning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... makes sense the peices fitt that said i dont like the reality of being a third type of chimp ..., 7 July 2014
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very thought provoking makes sense the peices fitt that said i dont like the reality of being a third type of chimp but there it is sometimes the truth is hard to handle like life you decide. ps good luck.
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The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee
The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond (Paperback - 28 May 1992)
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