"I was raised in Texas in a military family with a father who was trained in college as an architectural engineer. I cannot count the endless number of hours I spent listening to my father’s intricately crafted theories on life and living. In my generation, in a military family, you did a lot of listening to your parents and not much talking. Still, you could not help but wonder how much of what was being said was fact or fiction. You were also forced to consider the intricate weave of evidence, logic, opinions and miraculous insights being used to support the conclusions stated as fact. My father was very good at crafting these arguments and so is Dr. Jared Diamond, the author of “Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.” This book attempts to answer the question of why European society rose to such prominence throughout the world. If you were raised in Texas and not only of European descent, this question was always the elephant or the 800 pound gorilla in the room. I read this book when it was first published in 1997 and was so fascinated by Dr. Diamond’s answer that I could not put it down. I was especially captivated by the intricate weave of evidence and arguments that explained how he started at point A and concluded at point B. The book is especially relevant in our current social and political climate where it seems that there is an intentional effort to blur lines between fact and fiction. I consider the book to be a valiant effort at clearly defining those lines, applied to a critical question that has colored the lens through which we see ourselves and others in modern society."