The World until Yesterday
Prize-winning author Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steeland Collapse. Now, he returns with another epic journey into our rapidly receding past. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how tribal societies 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.
In his most personal book to date, Diamond writes about his experiences over nearly five decades working and living in New Guinea, an island that is home to one thousand of the world's 7,000 languages and one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. Drawing on his own fieldwork, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians and other cultures, Diamond explores how tribal peoples approach essential human problems, from childrearing to old age to conflict resolution to health, and discovers that we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reasons why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension are largely non-existent in tribal societies, to the surprising cognitive benefits of multilingualism. As Diamond reminds us, the West achieved global dominance due to specific environmental and technological advantages, but Westerners do not necessarily have superior ideas about how to raise children, care for the elderly, or simply live well.
Panoramic in scope and brilliantly original, The World Until Yesterdayprovides a mesmerizing first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how we can live today.
Publication Date: 02-Jan-2013
Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited