The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond audiobook

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

By Jared Diamond
Read by Jay Snyder

Penguin Audio 9781611761474
18.53 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781101605431

Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday—in evolutionary time—when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions. The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years—a past that has mostly vanished—and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today. This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticize traditional societies—after all, we are shocked by some of their practices—but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. A characteristically provocative, enlightening, and entertaining book, The World Until Yesterday will be essential and delightful reading.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

A Wall Street Journal bestseller

A Washington Post bestseller

A #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller

A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller

A Publishers Weekly bestseller

Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday—in evolutionary time—when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.

The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years—a past that has mostly vanished—and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.
This is Jared Diamond’s most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn’t romanticize traditional societies—after all, we are shocked by some of their practices—but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. A characteristically provocative, enlightening, and entertaining book, The World Until Yesterday will be essential and delightful reading.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“For an audience that may consider the present moment uncritically, The World Until Yesterday reminds us that in the headlong rush to modernity, much has been lost. While noting that the advantages of modern society far outweigh the insecurities of traditional life, Diamond nonetheless makes a compelling case for the lessons that traditional societies have to teach us.” Washington Post
“Diamond’s experience with traditional societies has opened him to certain aspects that we might adopt to our benefit, including multilingualism, the importance of lifelong social bonds, nursing and physical contact with children, constructive paranoia and the significance of the aged. A symphonic yet unromantic portrait of traditional societies and the often stirring lessons they offer.” Kirkus Reviews
The World Until Yesterday [is] a fascinating and valuable look at what the rest of us have to learn from—and perhaps offer to—our more traditional kin.” Christian Science Monitor
“Ambitious and erudite, drawing on Diamond’s seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of fields such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, physiology, nutrition, and evolutionary biology.” Chicago Tribune
“In this fascinating book, Diamond brings fresh perspective to historic and contemporary ways of life with an eye toward those that are likely to enhance our future.” Booklist
“Lyrical and harrowing, this survey of traditional societies reveals the surprising truth that modern life is a mere snippet in the long narrative of human endeavor…This book provides a lifetime of distilled experience but offers no simple lessons.” Publishers Weekly
“Extraordinary in erudition and originality, compelling in [its] ability to relate the digitized pandemonium of the present to the hushed agrarian sunrises of the past.” New York Times Book Review
“Extremely persuasive…replete with fascinating stories, a treasure trove of historical anecdotes [and] haunting statistics.” Boston Globe

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jared Diamond

Author Bio: Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Among Dr. Diamond’s many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University. He has published more than two hundred articles and his book Guns, Germs, and Steel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 18.53
Audience: Adult
Language: English