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The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?: Jared Diamond picture
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Thu 31st Jan at 7:00pm

Jared Diamond

@ At-Bristol, Bristol

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The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?: Jared Diamond

In his new book The World Until Yesterday, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jared Diamond provides an epic journey into our rapidly receding past, revealing how tribal societies offer an extraordinary window into how our ancestors lived for millions of years - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and how they can provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature.

Drawing on his own fieldwork spanning nearly five decades working and living in New Guinea, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians and other cultures, Diamond explores how tribal peoples approach essential human problems, from childrearing to old age to conflict resolution to health, and discovers that we have much to learn from traditional ways of life.

He unearths remarkable findings: from the reasons why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and hypertension are largely non-existent in tribal societies, to the surprising cognitive benefits of multilingualism.

As Diamond reminds us, the West achieved global dominance due to specific environmental and technological advantages, but Westerners do not necessarily have superior ideas about how to raise children, care for the elderly, or simply live well.

In this rare appearance, Jared Diamond provides a mesmerizing first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how we can live today.