Jared Diamond answers a question that most of us don't want to think about: How and why did earlier groups fall apart and how can we think, act, & live our lives so that we do not go down the same path. Good reading for everyone who hopes their children will have atleast as good a life as we have experienced and especially for anyone who can help (politicans?) or wants to see the ideals and learning of our times continued into the future.
Good, critical science - every example of failed societies providess a great lesson in humility and the need for conservation and sustainability.
Maybe the book was hyped too much, but I found it disappointing. Unclear arguments, some general interesting themes, but by no means a ground-breaker. Hard to focus on paying attention. Others have liked it, not me.
He takes examples from throughout history showing us exactly how past societies destroyed themselves. His correlations to today's society are self explanitory and will motivate you to think about many of today's crises in a new light.
I tried very hard to listen to this book because I found the subject interesting. But the author just beats the point to death and uses examples that have no sustance or meaning to the reader.
Inevitably the decline of various societies and civilizations has been connected with man's indiference to the natural world. COLLAPSE details the often unexpected effects on the environment of what may seem simple and harmless endeavors of man. We need to pay attention to the misteps of our forbears to avoid our own demise.
I highly recommend Collapse. Jared Diamond delivers honesty, pessimism, and optimism when describing societies faced with problems in the present and the past. I hope that this book reaches a lot of people who do not know (but wish to know) how our collective actions can make or break our environment, and therefore our ultimate survival.
A grim, riveting and, at times, disturbing look at how environmental factors can destabilize society, this book urges us to learn from history in order to preserve ourselves and our future. I only wish it had been unabridged.
If you're looking for insights into the fall of Rome, Greece or Persia, look elsewhere. If you want to hear about global warming, natural resources and mining contracts then buy this book. It's very well written, researched and edited. But it's also too thorough and sad enough to make one consider suicide. I got through the part about genocide in Rwanda and considered slitting my wrists.
I greatly feared starting this book. Quite frankly, I was worried I would feel thoroughly hopeless after the reading. I was pleasantly surprised by the author's engaging overview of past cultures, their mistakes and the outcomes.
I appreciated the manner in which the author built our understanding of current peril while still offering hope for change. It is a galvanizing read.