Guns, Germs, And Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – Jared Diamond

If you want a good summary of this excellent study then read Cej's comic summary. I don't have much to add to it; Cej explains that the book tries to show that some societies and civilizations had advantages, not due to race, but because of agriculture and domestication of animals. Some areas had better plant life and animals than others and that really is that, which makes the title a little misleading.