About this product
- SynopsisIn 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, Collapseis 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?
- AuthorJared Diamond
- Number Of Pages592 pages
- Publication Date2004-12-29
- PublisherPenguin Publishing Group
- Copyright Date2005
- Weight32.7 Oz
- Height1.8 In.
- Width6.5 In.
- Length9.6 In.
- Grade FromTwelfth Grade
- Grade Toup
- Age Range18 - UP
- LC Classification NumberHN13.D5 2005
- Dewey Decimal304.2/8
- Dewey Edition22
Table Of Content
- Table Of ContentCONTENTS List of Maps xiii Prologue: A Tale of Two Farms 1 Two farms Collapses, past and present Vanished Edens? A five-point framework Businesses and the environment The comparative method Plan of the book Part One: MODERN MONTANA 25 Chapter 1: Under Montana�s Big Sky 27 Stan Falkow�s story Montana and me Why begin with Montana? Montana�s economic history Mining Forests Soil Water Native and non-native species Differing visions Attitudes towards regulation Rick Laible�s story Chip Pigman�s story Tim Huls�s story John Cook�s story Montana, model of the world Part Two: PAST SOCIETIES 77 Chapter 2: Twilight at Easter 79 The quarry�s mysteries Easter�s geography and history People and food Chiefs, clans, and commoners Platforms and statues Carving, transporting, erecting The vanished forest Consequences for society Europeans and explanations Why was Easter fragile? Easter as metaphor Chapter 3: The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands 120 Pitcairn before the Bounty Three dissimilar islands Trade The movie�s ending Chapter 4: The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and Their Neighbors 136 Desert farmers Tree rings Agricultural strategies Chaco�s problems and packrats Regional integration Chaco�s decline and end Chaco�s message Chapter 5: The Maya Collapses 157 Mysteries of lost cities The Maya environment Maya agriculture Maya history Cop�n Complexities of collapses Wars and droughts Collapse in the southern lowlands The Maya message Chapter 6: The Viking Prelude and Fugues 178 Experiments in the Atlantic The Viking explosion Autocatalysis Viking agriculture Iron Viking chiefs Viking religion Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeroes Iceland�s environment Iceland�s history Iceland in context Vinland Chapter 7: Norse Greenland�s Flowering 211 Europe�s outpost Greenland�s climate today Climate in the past Native plants and animals Norse settlement Farming Hunting and fishing An integrated economy Society Trade with Europe Self-image Chapter 8: Norse Greenland�s End 248 Introduction to the end Deforestation Soil and turf damage The Inuit�s predecessors Inuit subsistence Inuit/Norse relations The end Ultimate causes of the end Chapter 9: Opposite Paths to Success 277 Bottom up, top down New Guinea highlands Tikopia Tokugawa problems Tokugawa solutions Why Japan succeeded Other successes Part Three: MODERN SOCIETIES 309 Chapter 10: Malthus in Africa: Rwanda�s Genocide 311 A dilemma Events in Rwanda More than ethnic hatred Buildup in Kanama Explosion in Kanama Why it happened Chapter 11: One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories: The Dominican Republic and Haiti 329 Differences Histories Causes of divergence Dominican environmental impacts Balaguer The Dominican environment today The future Chapter 12: China, Lurching Giant 358 China�s significance Background Air, water, soil Habitat, species, megaprojects Consequences Connections The future Chapter 13: Mining� Australia 378 Australia�s significance Soils Water Distance Early history Imported values Trade and immigration Land degradation&
- Reviews"Mr. Diamond...is a lucid writer with an ability to make arcane scientific concepts readiily accesible to the lay reader, and his case studies of failed cultures are never less than compelling." - The New York Times "... Collapse is a magisterial effort packed with insight and written with clarity and enthusiasm." - Businessweek " Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse represent one of the most significant projects embarked upon by any intellectual of our generation. They are magnificent books: extraordinary in erudition and originality, compelling in their ability to relate the digitized pandemonium of the present to the hushed agrarian sunrises of the far past. I read both thinking what literature might be like if every author knew so much, wrote so clearly and formed arguments with such care." - Gregg Easterbrook, The New York Times Book Review
Most relevant reviews
- jedediahstrongs...Jan 08, 2010by
Collapse is hands down my favorite Jared Diamond book. The opening case study he does about Montana and the Bitterroot Valley hit home with this writer given my entire life has been spent scratching out a living in this island state. The story Diamond weaves in this book is absolutely phenomenal and brings to light the fragility of our civilization on planet earth. I truly loved the way Daimond posits the planet as the micronesian islands and archipelagoes of the South Pacific societies that have Collapsed. That analogy lays bare the shrinking of time and space which technology has created and makes plain the shrinking planet and our interdependence on one another. His five point framework for explaining what leads to these collapses is brilliant.
- james_gallagherDec 08, 2011by
Everyone should read this book. It is a great read. Diamond is excellent.
Jared Diamond is a brilliant man. Through this book he explains the various way that a number of societies have collapsed throughout history and even in contemporary times. His conclusions are founded on historical, agricultural, technological, physiological, factors among many others. It is hard to argue with his findings as they are all firmly founded on rock solid evidence. Overall a great read for anyone.
- adrianpollyMay 09, 2009by
Great book on Failed societies and Sustainability
Diamond divides the book into sections about certain societies throughout history. I have read the parts on the Anasazi, Easter Islanders, Norse, and China. For each part, Diamond draws heavily on research from himself and others with real evidence to suggest how each society failed. Not only is this book very informing, it also draws upon the larger questions about how we should all conduct ourselves today. It teaches us what to consider in sustainability practices so that we don't follow the same way. It's definitely an interesting read, but sometimes it can be overbearing with the depth and details Diamond provides. This is good though I think, because it prevents us from making hasty assumptions and connections.
- 9dew17Jun 06, 2009by
Mother Nature doesn't do bailouts -
This book explains why some societies fail and some thrive. Very interesting and well written. A great follow on to Guns, Germs, and Steel. I have purchased quite a few copies for friends and one for our state senator who has been more often than not voted for legislation that promotes near term money making at the expense of long term prosperity. We all have opportunities to make such choices. This book provides lots of examples of those who do it right and those who don't.
- evelin.ancaDec 20, 2015by
quick delivery! thanks!
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