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

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

Jared Diamond

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.

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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Description:

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.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Jay Snyder

Length:

18h 32m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

01:15:50


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

41:57


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

51:27


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

42:58


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

55:19


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

23:22


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

47:20


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

01:00:49


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

48:34


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

42:03


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

01:18:02


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

44:45


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

36:04


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

55:49


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

52:05


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

01:03:18


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

53:41


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

01:04:25


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

35:41


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

01:02:16


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

39:57


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

36:27