After reading Guns, Germs and Steel…I am ambivalent about the book. It does make some good points about geography and natural resources. But it felt too politically correct and misses one very important point – the choices that people make. Geography and resources are important for the start of civilization. But how can one explain the rise of powerful nation-states over the last few decades and centuries? I believe that is where choices come into play. Would the United States be the same nation if it was the Protestant Republic of America? What if Lincoln has said “let them secede”? Why was it so easy for a tiny nation to conquer the Indian subcontinent? Or compare the state of Pakistan and Bangladesh today, which were the same nation only four decades back. Would there have been a Hitler if Britain and France had not humiliated Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. I believe as much as surroundings give a head start to how civilizations develop, it is the choices we make as a people and society that determines the state and standard of our lives.

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