"Sometimes when you take on the world, the world fights back." Andrew Benedict-Nelson on The World Until Yesterday and what we can learn from Jared Diamond:
Though Diamond won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Medal of Science for the book, he is not a professionally trained anthropologist. Many who are take issue with his theoretical perspective, which they dismiss as determinist or racist or neocolonialist or some other -ist. Others question his command of the facts, including his firsthand observations. His 2008 New Yorker article about an alleged clan war in Papua New Guinea was the subject of a 40,000-word rebuttal written by Rhonda Roland Shearer, the widow of the late naturalist and author Stephen Jay Gould. Diamond was even sued by the principal informant of the piece, a New Guinean tribesman who claimed his life was endangered by the publication (the suit has since been withdrawn).