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.
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.
I agreed with everything Jared Diamond had to say about how societies collapse and how those relate to the fate of modern global and in particular US society. But I have a feeling that some of the chains of logic he constructed might be disputable, and I would like to hear the other side. There must be some reason the bad processes he talks about continue. Either they aren't that bad or there is a counter-argument that is very compelling. I would have liked to have been allowed to be exposed to that argument. For example, the de-forestation of Easter Island had to become an issue for the islanders well before it became irreversible. Why didn't they seek to do something about it. That would be the interesting topic to explore, because that is precisely where our society is now. We know we are on a path to destruction, why don't we travel another path?
This book was an unremarkable diatribe about the impending end of civilization due to our lack of environmental stewardship. It was such a slog. The author pummels you with item after item describing the impending end of our ecosystems, often with no hope that we can stop it. The book is a luddites delight, cataloguing the evils of mining, chemicals, manufacturing and commercial agriculture; pretty much what sustains modern life. As usual, the author offers no viable alternatives or solutions, just an over done word canvass of our impending demise. I so wish he had said something useful.
It should have been called "Collapse of some Pacific Islands and the Deforestation of a handful of other Places". That would be a much more descriptive title, but one less likely to sell books. I certainly would not have wasted the money on it if that had been it. Diamond really "phoned it in" on this one, which is sad. He is a real talent, or has been in the past, but this book is not in the class of "Guns, Germs and Steel".