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Further Reading for Guns, Germs, and Steel

Book Cover Image: Title: Collapse, Author: Jared Diamond

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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Jared Diamond
What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to fall into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Using a vast historical and geographical perspective ranging from Easter Island and the Maya to Viking Greenland and modern Montana, Diamond traces a fundamental pattern of environmental catastrophe -- one whose warning signs can be seen in our modern world and that we ignore at our peril.

Book Cover Image: Title: The Third Chimpanzee, Author: Jared Diamond

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The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
Jared Diamond
Human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet, having founded civilizations, religions, communication, science, and art -- while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that 2 percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins? Diamond explores how the human animal, in a remarkably short time, developed the capacity to rule the world ... and the means to irrevocably destroy it.

Book Cover Image: Title: Wild, Author: Jay Griffiths

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Wild: An Elemental Journey
Jay Griffiths
Griffiths describes an extraordinary odyssey through wildernesses of earth, ice, water, and fire in this poetic consideration of the tender connection between human society and the wild. The book is by turns passionate, political, funny, and harrowing. It is also a journey into that greatest of uncharted lands -- the wilderness of the mind -- and Griffiths beautifully explores the language and symbolism that shape our experience of our own wildness.

Book Cover Image: Title: The Ghost Map, Author: Steven Johnson

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The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities,...
Steven Johnson
In the summer of 1854, a devastating cholera outbreak seizes London just as it is emerging as a modern city of more than 2 million people. Johnson chronicles the efforts of Dr. Snow, who risks his own life to prove how the epidemic is being spread. When Snow creates the map that traces the pattern of outbreak back to its source, he didn't just solve the most pressing medical riddle of his time. He ultimately established the way modern city-dwellers, city planners, physicians, and public officials think about the spread of disease and the development of the modern urban environment.

Book Cover Image: Title: Field Notes from a Catastrophe, Author: Elizabeth Kolbert

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Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
Elizabeth Kolbert
Taking readers from the melting Alaskan permafrost to storm-torn New Orleans, acclaimed journalist Kolbert approaches this monumental problem from every angle. She interviews researchers and environmentalists, explains the science, draws frightening parallels to lost civilizations and presents the moving tales of people who are watching their worlds disappear. Growing out of an award-winning three-part series for the New Yorker, she brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet.

Book Cover Image: Title: The Map that Changed the World, Author: Simon Winchester

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The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
Simon Winchester
The Map That Changed the World is, at its foundation, a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin and homelessness. The world's coal and oil industry, its gold mining, its highway systems, and its railroad routes were all derived entirely from the creation of Smith's first map; and with a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.

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