Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
I'm a fan of Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel, which explores why European cultures dominated American and African cultures. Disease -- not just human but also animal diseases play an enormous role in history. We like to think it is technology (or innate superiority, or God's will), not the effects of new diseases on unexposed populations, but the facts are there.
All the horse power in world won't matter if you're all dying of the measles.
There's another book I think called The Horse The Wheel and Language which among other things reviews the earliest domestications of the horse in Eurasia. Interesting things I learned from that book included that the invention of the horse collar revolutionized the use of the horse as a draft animal (can't use a ox yoke on a horse, and a horse can't pull much with a chest strap, it cuts off his breathing). And, the invention of the stirrup revolutionized horseback warfare.
Short horse lover