Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail Or Succeed

Front Cover
Penguin, 2006 - History - 575 pages
1620 Reviews
In his runaway bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond brilliantly examined the circumstances that allowed Western civilizations to dominate much of the world. Now he probes the other side of the equation: What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to fall into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Using a vast historical and geographical perspective ranging from Easter Island and the Maya to Viking Greenland and modern Montana, Diamond traces a fundamental pattern of environmental catastrophe—one whose warning signs can be seen in our modern world and that we ignore at our peril. Blending the most recent scientific advances into a narrative that is impossible to put down, Collapseexposes the deepest mysteries of the past even as it offers hope for the future.

“Diamond’s most influential gift may be his ability to write about geopolitical and environmental systems in ways that don’t just educate and provoke, but entertain.” —The Seattle Times

“Extremely persuasive . . . replete with fascinating stories, a treasure trove of historical anecdotes [and] haunting statistics.” —The Boston Globe

“Extraordinary in erudition and originality, compelling in [its] ability to relate the digitized pandemonium of the present to the hushed agrarian sunrises of the far past.” —The New York Times Book Review
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
489
4 stars
619
3 stars
373
2 stars
109
1 star
30

Well researched and logical. - Goodreads
So difficult to read... - Goodreads
An amazing overview. - Goodreads
I found the writing slow and tedious. - Goodreads
Very interesting and educational value. - Goodreads
Great dinner party factoids. - Goodreads

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Kristen-Marie Freeman - Goodreads

It took me *for-ever* to get through this book. However, now that I have, I liked it. Diamond's research scope is truly impressive, and, even if he tends to go into too much detail, to the point of ... Read full review

Review: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

User Review  - Daniel - Goodreads

I was desperate for a non-fiction and picked this up from a limited selection. Diamond writes well, which is a lot more than can be said for many non-fiction authors. The central theme, that ... Read full review

All 10 reviews »

Contents

I
1
II
25
III
27
IV
77
V
79
VI
120
VII
136
VIII
157
XII
277
XIII
309
XIV
311
XV
329
XVI
358
XVII
378
XVIII
417
XIX
419

IX
178
X
211
XI
248
XX
441
XXI
486
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

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. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Among Dr. Diamond's many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan's Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by Rockefeller University. He has published more than two hundred articles and his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Bibliographic information