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 ...
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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My husband, a professor at St. John's Univ., finds this text invaluable in its content and its presentation of material. He is cherishing Jared Diamond's book; and when he is done with it, I intend to read it.
Sep 3, 2010
A very good book
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.
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