"As a researcher, Diamond's Guns, Germs, & Steel appeals to me on many levels. I am impressed that the author begins with an empirical observation---Spanish conquistador Pizarro's decimation of the Incans in 1532---and shapes an interesting, original research question out of this event. Why is it that Pizarro and other Europeans and Asians were the victors in history, and not the Incans, Aztecs, Native Americans, etc...? To answer the question Diamond uses methodological triangulation, with a research approach drawing on anthropology, archeology, epidemiology, military science, and other domains, and dissects historical events spanning different eras, continents, cultures and social structures. He explores the "chain of causation" underlying important historical developments and provides compelling evidence that Eurasian dominance is a result of guns, (miltiary superiority of conquering armies), germs (a lack of immunity to new European diseases among indigenous people), and steel (more centralized governmental structures that encouraged strong nationalism and military power). His conclusion is profound and humbling: Opportunity and environmental factors---more so than superior intelligence or ingenuity---largely account for disparities in the distribution of wealth and power today."