In this fascinating book, Diamond seeks to understand the fates of past societies that collapsed for ecological reasons, combining the most important policy debate of this generation with the romance and mystery of lost worlds.In this fascinating book, Diamond seeks to understand the fates of past societies that collapsed for ecological reasons, combining the most important policy debate of this generation with the romance and mystery of lost worlds.Read Less
New. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Brand New, Perfect Condition. We offer expedited shipping to all US locations. Over 3, 000, 000 happy customers. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 589 p. Contains: Maps.
New. 0143036556 New. No dust jacket as issued. Brand New! Support Radical Independent Pacific Northwest Booksellers! Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 576 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. This book employs the comparative method to understand societal collapses to which environmental problems contribute. My previous book (Guns, Germs, and Steel: Fates of Human Societies), had applied the comparative method to the opposite problem: the differing rates of buildup of human societies on different continents over the last 13, 000 years. In the present book focusing on collapses rather than buildups, I compare many past and present societies that differed with respect to environmental fragility, relations with neighbors, political institutions, and other "input" variables postulated to influence a society's stability. "output" variables that I examine are collapse or survival, and form of the collapse if collapse does occur. By relating output variables to input variables, I aim to tease out the influence of possible input variables on collapses.
592pp. Octavo [19.5 cm] Orange and gray pictorial wrappers. New book. Fine. 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.
Because I have interest in the hisotry of Mayan culture, theexposition of it in this book has fascinated me very much. It is worthy of reading.
Jul 2, 2010
Calm, honest analysis
Diamond did not select bits of research findings to support his arguments. The message and the warnings our society should hear are oh, so calmy, cool-headedly exposed and credible. The tragedy-as in all of Diamond's books- is that the people who are the"chiefs", who ask us to build more temples from shrinking resources, was not heard then. Alas it will not be heard now, Very well written and argued, Excellent book.
Mar 4, 2010
Excellent and timely
Anybody who saw the recent earthquake devastation in Haiti needs to read Diamond's overview of how and why they had become a place of devastation from deforestation long before the earthquake. It should be a lesson for the world and a preview of disaster when the laws of nature are ignored in favor of profits.
We purchase copies of Diamond's book and give them as gifts to help educate and inform others so political policy doesn't lead us down the wrong path AGAIN
Jul 2, 2009
I normally read very fast and enjoy reading, but this book puts me to sleep.
Nov 20, 2007
Well-though-out and insightful
Unlike many writers in the current debate over the environment, Diamond takes a balanced veiwpoint. He examines the successes and failures of both ancient and modern societies. (yes, some native societies destroyed their environments too) and shows ways that business and proper care of the environment can work together. If you thought that capitalism and environmentalism were atithetical, read this book!
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