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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive

From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations.

Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future.

● What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island?

● What happened 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, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors.

'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race'
  Daily Mail

'Riveting, superb, terrifying'
  Observer

'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it'
  Economist

'This book shines like all Diamond's work'
  Sunday Times

Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

PROLOGUE: A Tale of Two Farms

PART ONE - MODERN MONTANA

Chapter 1. Under Montana’s Big Sky

PART TWO - PAST SOCIETIES

Chapter 2. Twilight at Easter

Chapter 3. The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands

Chapter 4. The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and Their Neighbors

Chapter 5. The Maya Collapses

Chapter 6. The Viking Prelude and Fugues

Chapter 7. Norse Greenland’s Flowering

Chapter 8. Norse Greenland’s End

Chapter 9. Opposite Paths to Success

PART THREE - MODERN SOCIETIES

Chapter 10. Malthus in Africa: Rwanda’s Genocide

Chapter 11. One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories: The Dominican Republic and Haiti

Chapter 12. China, Lurching Giant

Chapter 13. “Mining” Australia

PART FOUR - PRACTICAL LESSONS

Chapter 14. Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?

Chapter 15. Big Businesses and the Environment: Different Conditions, Different Outcomes

Chapter 16. The World as a Polder: What Does It All Mean to Us Today?

AFTERWORD: ANGKOR’S RISE AND FALL

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

FURTHER READINGS