Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Chapter 6 "To Farm or Not to Farm" Summary & Analysis

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As all peoples were once hunter-gatherers, what explains why they would adopt food production? Although this question seems simple, the reality is that up until very recent times, food production actually meant more physical work, more hours of labor each day, and more hardships than in hunter-gatherer societies. There are many cases of hunter-gatherer groups who came into contact with food producers and failed to adopt these practices.

Diamond argues that there are several misconceptions about this transition. First, there often was not a conscious choice between the two options. Groups often adopted some food production while still practicing hunting and gathering. Secondly, sharp distinctions cannot be drawn around the groups. Sometimes hunter-gatherer societies became sedentary but did not produce food and there are examples of mobile food producers.

Thus, in...

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This section contains 466 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Study Guide
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