Table of Contents
   Prologue: Yali's Question: The regionally differing courses of historyp. 13
   Up to the Starting Line: What happened on all the continents before 11,000 B.C.?p. 35
   A Natural Experiment of History: How geography molded societies on Polynesian islandsp. 53
   Collision at Cajamarca: Why the Inca emperor Atahuallpa did not capture King Charles I of Spainp. 67
   Farmer Power: The roots of guns, germs, and steelp. 85
   History's Haves and Have-Nots: Geographic differences in the onset of food productionp. 93
   To Farm or Not to Farm: Causes of the spread of food productionp. 104
   How to Make an Almond: The unconscious development of ancient cropsp. 114
   Apples or Indians: Why did peoples of some regions fail to domesticate plants?p. 131
   Zebras, Unhappy Marriages, and the Anna Karenina Principle: Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated?p. 157
   Spacious Skies and Tilted Axes: Why did food production spread at different rates on different continents?p. 176
   Lethal Gift of Livestock: The evolution of germsp. 195
   Blueprints and Borrowed Letters: The evolution of writingp. 215
   Necessity's Mother: The evolution of technologyp. 239
   From Egalitarianism to Kleptocracy: The evolution of government and religionp. 265
   Yali's People: The histories of Australia and New Guineap. 295
   How China became Chinese: The history of East Asiap. 322
   Speedboat to Polynesia: The history of the Austronesian expansionp. 334
   Hemispheres Colliding: The histories of Eurasia and the Americas comparedp. 354
   How Africa became Black: The history of Africap. 376
   Epilogue: The Future of Human History as a Sciencep. 403
   Acknowledgmentsp. 427
   Further Readingsp. 429
   Creditsp. 459
   Indexp. 461