Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed, Part 537

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Viking Penguin, 2005 - History - 575 pages
94 Reviews

In his million-copy bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society's apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.

Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

Look out for Jared Diamond's latest book, The World Until Yesterday, coming from Viking in January 2013.

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Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

Ok so basically this book took me so long to read. It was interesting and I learned a lot, but it didn't manage to glue me to my seat, riveted. So it gets three stars for interesting and educational, loses two stars for unnecessarily long and not quite interesting enough. Read full review

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Lilo Abernathy - Goodreads

If you care about the world and the survival of the human race, then you must read this book. Period. Buy it now. It will teach you more than you ever thought possible in one book. You will look at ... Read full review

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Contents

List of Maps
1
Under Montanas Big Sky
27
Twilight at Easter
79
Copyright

26 other sections not shown

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About the author (2005)

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Among Dr. Diamond's many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University. He has published more than two hundred articles and his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.