New Book by Jared Diamond: The World Until Yesterday
Jared Diamond, author of the peerless Guns, Germs and Steel, is regularly pilloried by some within the humanities for the heresies of environmental and geographical determinism. Undeterred, he’s got a new book coming out, The World Until Yesterday . I’m slightly worried that it might turn out to be ‘Self-help Lessons from the Stone Age’ – but this interview in the Guardian makes the premise sound intriguing at least. Here’s a positive review from the Indy, featuring this fascinating nugget from biological history:
It seems that when most of the world went hungry and whole populations were decimated by famine, natural selection produced adaptations which then proved counterproductive when famine turned to feast. Europeans have had several centuries to get used to a much more regular availability of food, and Diamond speculates that Europe may have suffered its first obesity and diabetes epidemic two or three centuries ago, JS Bach being a likely victim.