Thomas Biskup recommends: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
"This book IMHO is simply marvelous: It explains human history with a broad perspective and explains why certain things happen with logical biological arguments instead of controversial and emotional points. There are reasons (geographical et al.) why american indians were conquered by europeans - but these reasons do not follow some stupid ubermensch theory but extrapolate from climate, geography and similar reasons. If you want to learn why the world developed the way it developed, this is the book to read!
For software engineers and game designers this book IMHO is invaluable because it teaches you to think in larger perspectives and to consider how large consequences can result from small triggers. Here you can really begin to understand how worlds come to be. An absolute must-have!
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A complete list of my reading recommendations is available here.