I just wrapped up reading “Guns Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond as part of ENGG 405 (Management for Engineers). If you’re interested in getting a copy of the book so that you don’t have to go and dig one up before the deadline of March 30, feel free to drop me an email
It was a rather well thought out discussion of the physical variables that have played a major role in how History played out. As an effort to answer the question “Why did Europeans gain the upper hand technologically over the course of history”. It’s not obvious why the Mayan culture didn’t get rolling and invade Europe, they aren’t any stupider of people. Diamond makes an effort to describe that nature provided a big advantage to let people near the Mediterranean quit their hunter-gatherer existence prior to, or more completely than, people elsewhere in the world. It’s worth a read if you’ve got time to read lots of books, not worth your while if you’ve only got the commitment to read a couple books per year.