[Download] The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? By Jared Diamond

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

By: Jared Diamond
Narrated by: Jay Snyder
Length: 18 hours
Release date: Dec 31, 2012
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (153 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
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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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19 Responses to “[Download] The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? By Jared Diamond”

  1. Alfonso Tarquinio

    Good look at things that once where.
    Would you listen to The World until Yesterday again? Why?

  2. Yen Grush

    Couldn’t finish this book.
    What disappointed you about The World until Yesterday?

  3. Willis R.

    Not up to Guns, Germs and Steel standard
    Guns, Germs and Steel is a favorite of mine and I was looking forward to Jared Diamond’s latest. Unfortunately, it didn’t have nearly the scope of the prior book. “The World” seemed to re-hash the same issues based on his observations of the indigenous peoples of New Guinea. Some interesting insights but overall, somewhat dull and uninspiring.

  4. Mellie Tannazzo

    Hard to overlook the painfully dry reader
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

  5. Mauro Julye

    Worth reading
    Fascinating comparison of modern life vs traditional tribal lifestyles. Provides much food for thought with regard to the elements of traditional tribal lifestyles that can be incorporated into modern western society.

  6. Ellyn Pintado

    Jared Diamond’s Interesting Life and Career
    Would you try another book from Jared Diamond and/or Jay Snyder?

  7. Fay P.

    armchair guide to new guinea
    The great narration is what kept me listening to the very end. Other than that, much of what I recall about this book is what I learned about the people and history of New Guinea.

  8. Jesus H.

    A little bit of something for everyone
    This book is part anthropology, sociology, education, parenting, history and policy making. One of Jared’s best works that is well organized, written and applicable for both academics and regular folks.

  9. Don Mundy

    Boring and I usually like boring
    Would you try another book from Jared Diamond and/or Jay Snyder?

  10. Whitney Crans

    Shockingly insightful!
    I was asking myself questions which Jared Diamond unfailingly answered 2 sentences later.
    This book should have a life changing impact on most people!

  11. Jorge Mayala

    Liked it better than “Guns, Germs and Steel”
    Diamond takes his decades of precious experience in New Guinea to demystify many of the customs and practices of traditional societies. This book dispelled many stereotypes I had of such peoples, and at the same time taught me about horrors that I never had imagined before! He offers many constructive suggestions for aspects of traditional lifestyles that we can, and should, adopt in the modern world. In particular, his observations got me to thinking about aspects of my own life, such as how I interact with friends and family, that probably could use some serious readjustment…

    The narrator is very competent, but at times seems to be so utterly obsessed with clear enunciation that his pacing and tempo become, conversely, unnatural and jerky.

  12. Usha D.

    Broadening of the mind
    Opened up a whole new world to me. Provides an alternative perspective on us, and gives a balanced insight into the richness of the world before civilization.

  13. Joshua

    Very good overall, but with some major flaws
    This book makes some outdated claims regarding the discredited Saphir-Worf hypothesis and the impact of salt on health, dedicating significant portions of the book to it. The structure of the book is somewhat rambling, often repeating points made at earlier points in the book. This bing said, it does provide a good overview of the effect of the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a modern one

  14. Trevor Luxon

    Good but not as good
    I’m a big Jared diamond fan and have really enjoyed all of his works. I enjoyed this one as well, but I didn’t find it as compelling as some of his other books.

  15. Tamica Franty

    A great tour-de-force of traditional societies
    Adds some much-needed biological and anthropological context to the modern societies we take for granted.

  16. Moses Drzewiecki

    A great book someone else should have written
    Incredibly fascinating subject, but is colored throughout by Diamonds own biases and preferences. I quit listening finally when he started with his apologia for atheism as an intro to the religion section. This may have been a really great book if someone else had written it.

  17. Aaron Kennemore

    Jared Diamond books just get better.
    I can listen to Jared Diamond books over and over again and learn something new each time because they are so packed full of intereting imformation.

  18. Tuan G.

    Very informative but plodding
    Would you listen to The World until Yesterday again? Why?

  19. Kim

    Great idea, poorly executed
    Though an excellent concept, The World until Yesterday drones on, wallowing in poor analogies and disjointed stories. Not enough insight and “big picture” ideas, difficulty tying it all together.

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