This is Part 1 of 3 of PBS documentary Guns, Germs and Steel Website for the Movie (includes full transcript): http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/ Discrpition of Movie: Jared Diamond's revolutionary theories about the course of human civilization come to the screen in GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL: A NATIONAL GEOGRPHIC PRESENTATION, a new three-part television series produced exclusively for PBS. Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning work offers a revealing look at the rise and fall of societies through the lens of geography, technology, biology and economics - forces symbolized by the power of guns, germs and steel. The series airs on PBS Mondays, July 11-25, 2005. Check local listings. The production spans five continents and uses epic historical re-enactments to illustrate Diamond's theories, explaining why societies developed differently in different parts of the world - why some became conquerors and others the conquered. Visually compelling, the series uses a widescreen format and features footage from such richly diverse countries as Jordan, Peru, Spain, Zambia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and the United States. GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL explores the central idea of Diamond's thesis: geography as destiny. Why is it that some countries have so much and others have so little, Diamond asks? What led to the development of sophisticated weaponry, and how did that contribute to the downfall of some civilizations? Why are certain groups of people immune to strains of germs while others are not? And finally, how did all of these factors create the inequalities that still exist in the world? To seek the answers to monumental questions such as these, GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL features insight from some of the world's pre-eminent scholars, historians, archaeologists, biologists and anthropologists. The series also travels back in time to look at the origins of human civilization and traces its progress to the present day. The first episode, "Out of Eden," proposes that a society's potential for advanced development was not determined by race or creed, or by time and experience, but by access to domesticated animals and cultivated plants. Part two, "Conquest," explores the impact of weapons and disease in shaping the conquest of the New World. The final episode, "Into the Tropics," examines the development and colonization of Africa by South Africans and Europeans, and explains why geography is still a factor in forming the divide between those with money and resources and those without. "This series takes Jared Diamond's key insight - geography as destiny - and explores it through science, history and archaeology around the world. It is 13,000 years of history condensed into an extraordinary intellectual journey," said Michael Rosenfeld, executive vice president, programming and production for National Geographic Television & Film. "Of course, Jared Diamond's thinking continued to evolve after the book was published, and the series reflects his recent efforts to apply his ideas to the modern world."
Dec 14, 2005, 13:12:56
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