Guns Germs and Steel

Guns Germs and Steel is a three part Documentary series based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel.

The series traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century.

Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Jared embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.

Episode 1: Out of Eden

Episode 1: Out of Eden

Guns, Germs and Steel’s first episode opens up with Jared Diamond’s belief that the blueprint for global inequality lies within the land itself, its crops and animals.

But can this way of seeing the world really shed light on the great turning points of human history? 

Episode 2: Conquest

Episode 2: Conquest

On November 15th 1532, 168 Spanish conquistadors arrive in the holy city of Cajamarca, at the heart of the Inca Empire, in Peru.

They are exhausted, outnumbered and terrified — ahead of them are camped 80,000 Inca troops and the entourage of the Emperor himself.

Yet, within just 24 hours, more than 7,000 Inca warriors lie slaughtered; the Emperor languishes in chains; and the victorious Europeans begin a reign of colonial terror which will sweep through the entire American continent.

Episode 3: Into the Tropics

Episode 3: Into the Tropics

So far, Jared Diamond has demonstrated how geography favoured one group of people – Europeans – endowing them with agents of conquest ahead of their rivals around the world.

Guns, germs and steel allowed Europeans to colonise vast tracts of the globe — but what happened when this all-conquering package arrived in Africa, the birthplace of humanity?

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Guns Germs and Steel
  • Info
  • Release date2005
  • Full runtime3 hours
  • Directed vtCassian Harrison, Tim Lambert
  • Written byJared Diamond
  • Narrated byPeter Coyote
  • Production CompanyLion Television
  • Produced forPBS