Collapse

Collapse
Category:
Publisher:
Published: 2005
ISBN13: 9780143036555
Goodreads Rating: 3.9
A study of the downfall of some of history's greatest civilizations, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, includes coverage of such cultures as the Anasazi, the Maya, and the Viking colony on Greenland, tracing patterns of environmental damage, climate change, poor political choices, and other factors that were pivotal to their demise. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural…

Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

Review:

The real problem with Collapse isn’t the research that goes into the thesis, or even the soundness of the thesis itself. The central contention, that population explosion, interdependency, unsustainable harvest, adverse cultural values, and about 8 other factors contributed to a society’s collapse, is innocuous enough, though admittedly somewhat vague. Rather, the problem is that Diamond is so intent upon clearly and explicitly detailing every freaking argument to paint a convincing picture of the ancient/medieval societies or the current polluting industries that he often loses sight of his larger arguments. For instance, his discussion of Viking Greenland v. Iceland is insightful but whether it warrants nearly 100 pages in a 500 page book I doubt.

The book ends up presenting really rather very little that is new, argues persistently against straw man hypotheses, and is informative but almost in a trivial sense.




3.0Overall Score

Collapse

A study of the downfall of some of history's greatest civilizations, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, includes coverage of such cultures as the Anasazi, the ...

  • Rating
    3.0

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