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The last savages

We have drawn the wrong lessons from traditional societies

Indigenous Huli people dancing in Mount Hagen, New Guinea (© Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Jared Diamond is no modest thinker. His 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel was intended to explain why some societies became powerful and developed in the course of history and why others did not. His follow-up in 2005, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, was meant to analyse the causes of civilisational collapse and to stop the world on its headlong path to destruction. His latest book, The World Until Yesterday:…

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