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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
 
 
Author
Jared Diamond.
Publisher Penguin  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780143117001
Pages/Publication Date 589/2011
Daedalus Item Code 29707
This item is not available.
Description
In the Pulitzer Prize–winning Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations were able to dominate much of the world. Here he probes the other side of the equation to consider what caused some of the world's great civilizations to collapse—and what can we learn from their fates. Diamond weaves an encompassing global thesis through a series of historical-cultural narratives, moving from the prehistoric Polynesian culture on Easter Island to the once-flourishing Native American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya, to the medieval Viking colony on Greenland, and finally to the modern world. He traces a fundamental pattern of catastrophe, spelling out what happens when we squander our resources, when we ignore the signals our environment gives us, and when we reproduce too fast or cut down too many trees. This 2011 edition of Diamond's 2005 study includes a new afterword by the author.

"A lucid writer with an ability to make arcane scientific concepts readily accessible to the lay reader, [the author's] case studies of failed cultures are never less than compelling. He presents some intriguing digressions about methods used by scientists and historians to diagnose the trajectory of long dead societies, and provides some provocative analyses of current environmental problems in Australia, the United States and China."—NYTimes

 
 
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