Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 4, 2011 - History - 608 pages
16 Reviews

In Jared Diamondís follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization

Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves 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. 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 societyís 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?


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Lester Cockram - Goodreads

Jared Diamond really put a lot of work and research into this book on humankind behavior and environmental abuse. I learned a lot but think I would have been happy to learn a little considering it ... Read full review

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Edward H. Busse, III - Goodreads

Overall, an excellent book - if there was a 4.5 star rating, I'd have given it. Mr. Diamond goes in to meticulous explanation behind the collapses of several historical societies - Easter Island ... Read full review


List of Maps
and nonnative species
TwilightatEaster The quarrysmysteries Easters geography andhistory People
The Last People Alive Pitcairn and Henderson Islands
The Ancient OnesThe Anasaziand TheirNeighbors Desert farmers Tree rings Agricultural strategies Chacosproblems and packrats
TheMaya Collapses
The Viking Prelude and Fugues
Opposite Paths to Success
Malthus in Africa Rwandas Genocide
Causes of divergence
China Lurching Giant
Mining Australia
Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?
Big Businesses and the Environment Different Conditions Different Outcomes Resourceextraction Twooilfields Oilcompany motives Hardrock
TheWorld asaPolder What DoesItAll Mean toUs Today?

Norse Greenlands End Introduction to theend Deforestation Soil and turf damage

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

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. Among his many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japanís Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by The Rockefeller University. His previous books include Why Is Sex Fun?, The Third Chimpanzee, Collapse, The World Until Yesterday, and Guns, Germs, and Steel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Bibliographic information