Some time ago, while still in Italy, one of my assignments for the ‘Philosophy of Science' course was reading ‘Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond- a physiology and geography professor at UCLA. The size was not promising, at all, but the content was anything but boring.
The book opens with Diamond describing his meeting with a New Guinean tribe chief who, whilst they were walking on a beach, asked him: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?".
With the word ‘cargo' meaning ‘material goods', the question gains a huge reach in the professor's mind. So, reformulating it, the question is: "How and why have all these differences between groups of people developed?". It is a really big question that some people have preferred to avoid by labeling others as ‘inferior' giving a start to racist theories, which Diamond wants to disprove with his whole argumentation.
The title may mislead the reader, the main argument is not about war or anything similar. ‘Guns, germs and steel' are actually the closest reasons why some groups of people throughout the world are more developed than others. It might seem rather obvious, but these are just the closest reasons.