it is easy to overlook the thought that life just is: as humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. we have plans and aspirations and desires. we want to take advantage of all the intoxicating existence we've been endowed with.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.