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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive | Paperback

Released on 26 January 2006

Author: Jared Diamond | Format: Paperback

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From groundbreaking writer and thinker, Jared Diamond comes an epic, visionary new book on the mysterious collapse of past civilizations - and what this means for our future. Why do some societies flourish, while others founder? What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island or to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, "Collapse" also shows how unlike our ancestors we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors.

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 History repeating itself?

| | See all MickyValentine's reviews (31)

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In this book Jared Diamond outlines, with the aid of some apt case studies, why some societies have failed to stand the test of time through overlooking the long term implications of their short term actions.

What could have been a turgid, academic review of one of the key problems of our times has been avoided by Jared Diamond, who manages to write in a very fluid and engaging style that makes you unable to put the book down.

When reading this book I could not help but think of the parallels that could be drawn, not with individual societies, but of the whole world in the age of globalisation and high, unsustainable consumption. A case in point is Easter Island, where a once rich and flourishing society collapsed through the unsustainable use of a seemingly plentiful resource.

A thoroughly good read, though worrying in the number of parallels that can be drawn between collapsed societies of the past and our own cotemporary global society.

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AuthorJared Diamond
PublisherPenguin Books Ltd (United Kingdom)
Year2006
ISBN9780140279511
FormatPaperback - 592 Pages