Mitt Romney likes to reference the best-selling nonfiction book Guns, Germs, and Steel from time to time, as he did during a controversial speech in Jerusalem last week. But the book’s author, Jared Diamond, insists in a Times op-ed today that Romney knows nothing of his work:
It is not true that my book “Guns, Germs and Steel,” as Mr. Romney described it in a speech in Jerusalem, “basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth.”
That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it. My focus was mostly on biological features, like plant and animal species, and among physical characteristics, the ones I mentioned were continents’ sizes and shapes and relative isolation. I said nothing about iron ore, which is so widespread that its distribution has had little effect on the different successes of different peoples.
Next Obama attack ad: “What else will Romney pretend to read? The Constitution?”