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Jared Diamond biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond Biography

Jared Diamond, a noted polymath, is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his many awards are the U.S. National Medal of Science, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of the international best-selling books Guns, Germs, and SteelCollapseWhy Is Sex Fun?The World until Yesterday, and The Third Chimpanzee, and is the presenter of TV documentary series based on three of those books.



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Interview

Jared Diamond discusses Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel in detail, and says that his next book should be complete in about five years. However, when asked what it is about he would only reply 'the world is not yet ready for this story!' Read more....

What inspired you to write this book? Was there a single "germ" or eureka! moment? Did you conceive of Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel as companion volumes from the start—or did the idea for Collapse surface only after Guns was finished?

Ever since I was in my 20s and read Thor Heyerdahl's books about Easter Island, I became intrigued by the collapse of great societies—as are millions of other people. That interest has stayed with me over the last forty years, stimulated by visits to Maya ruins and Anasazi sites and by reading about other collapsed societies. I did not conceive of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse as companion volumes from the start, but I had already written some magazine articles about collapses in the 1980s, and the idea for Collapse was percolating below the surface. After finishing Guns, Germs, and Steel, as soon as I came to think about what would be the subject of my next book, the answer became obvious: Collapse!

Both Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse are huge bestsellers—and yet both are fairly demanding books. Have you been surprised by their success? How do you account for it?

Was I surprised...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jared Diamond at BookBrowse
Upheaval jacket The World Until Yesterday jacket Collapse jacket Guns, Germs & Steel jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Jared Diamond but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Diane Ackerman

    Diane Ackerman

    Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of many highly acclaimed works of nonfiction, including A Natural History of the Senses -- a book beloved by readers all over the world and the volumes Deep Play, A... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The World Until Yesterday

    Try:
    The Human Age
    by Diane Ackerman

  • David Bellos

    David Bellos

    David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The World Until Yesterday

    Try:
    Is That a Fish in Your Ear?
    by David Bellos

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