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

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 4, 2011 - History - 608 pages
24 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  - Steve Stuart - Goodreads

Fields such as archaeology, biochemistry, and astronomy are similar, in that they are fairly boring (to non-specialists) when described routinely, but can be completely enthralling when described by ... Read full review

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - 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

Contents

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
fishing
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

Bibliographic information