Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
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.
Author: Jared Diamond
In Jared Diamond’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana. 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? From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Jared Diamond
This title has been removed from sale by Penguin Group, USA.
Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory.
Author: Patricia A. McAnany, Norman Yoffee
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Questioning Collapse challenges those scholars and popular writers who advance the thesis that societies - past and present - collapse because of behavior that destroyed their environments or because of overpopulation. In a series of highly accessible and closely argued essays, a team of internationally recognized scholars bring history and context to bear in their radically different analyses of iconic events, such as the deforestation of Easter Island, the cessation of the Norse colony in Greenland, the faltering of nineteenth-century China, the migration of ancestral peoples away from Chaco Canyon in the American southwest, the crisis and resilience of Lowland Maya kingship, and other societies that purportedly 'collapsed'. Collectively, these essays demonstrate that resilience in the face of societal crises, rather than collapse, is the leitmotif of the human story from the earliest civilizations to the present. Scrutinizing the notion that Euro-American colonial triumphs were an accident of geography, Questioning Collapse also critically examines the complex historical relationship between race and political labels of societal 'success' and 'failure'.
From the author of No.1 international bestseller Collapse, a mesmerizing portrait of the human past that offers profound lessons for how we can live today Visionary, prize-winning author Jared Diamond changed the way we think about the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Now he returns with another epic - and groundbreaking - journey into our rapidly receding past. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window onto how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature. Drawing extensively on his decades working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Diamond explores how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from childrearing to conflict resolution to health, and discovers we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies to the surprising benefits of multilingualism. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how to live well today. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a #1 international bestseller. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.
In eight case studies by leading scholars in history, archaeology, business, economics, geography, and political science, the authors showcase the “natural experiment” or “comparative method”—well-known in any science concerned with the past—on the discipline of human history. That means, according to the editors, “comparing, preferably quantitatively and aided by statistical analyses, different systems that are similar in many respects, but that differ with respect to the factors whose influence one wishes to study.” The case studies in the book support two overall conclusions about the study of human history: First, historical comparisons have the potential for yielding insights that cannot be extracted from a single case study alone. Second, insofar as is possible, when one proposes a conclusion, one may be able to strengthen one’s conclusion by gathering quantitative evidence (or at least ranking one’s outcomes from big to small), and then by testing the conclusion’s validity statistically.
The Third Chimpanzee
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
The Third Chimpanzee was first published in 1991 and has been in print ever since. This new, illustrated edition is aimed at a young readership. In it, Jared Diamond explores what makes us human and poses fascinating questions including: If we share more than 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, how is it that we can write, read, talk, build telescopes and bombs, while we put our speechless and bomb-less close relatives in cages and zoos? What can woodpeckers teach us about spacecraft? Is genocide a human invention? Why does extinction matter? Why are we destroying the natural resources on which we depend for survival? What hope is there for future generations? The Third Chimpanzee for Young Readers is not only a mind-boggling survey of how we came to be who we are, but a plea to the next generation to "make better decisions than their parents and get us out of the mess we're in."
Author: Jared Diamond
A timely and fascinating exploration of the collapse of prehistoric Norse society in Greenland—excerpted from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jared Diamond’s Collapse This excerpt from the New York Times–bestselling book Collapse takes a timely and fascinating look at prehistoric Norse Greenland—the closest approximation of a controlled experiment in collapse in history. One island, two unique societies (Norse and Inuit). Only one of these societies would succeed—the other would fail. But how? With his trademark accessibility and comprehensiveness, Diamond documents how environmental damage, climate change, loss of friendly contacts and the rise of hostile ones, and the unique political, economic, and social settings of prehistoric Greenland combine to demonstrate exactly why and how societies choose to fail or succeed. Jared Diamond's latest book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?, is available from Viking.
Guns, Germs & Steel
Author: Riley Quinn
Publisher: CRC Press
In his 1997 work Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond marshals evidence from five continents and across 13,000 years of human history in an attempt to answer the question of why that history unfolded so differently in various parts of the globe. His results offer new explanations for why the unequal divisions of power and wealth so familiar to us today came into existence - and have persisted. Balancing materials drawn from a vast range of sources, addressing core problems that have fascinated historians, anthropologists, biologists and geographers alike - and blending his analysis to create a compelling narrative that became an international best-seller and reached a broad general market - required a mastery of the critical thinking skill of reasoning that few other scholars can rival. Diamond's reasoning skills allow him to persuade his readers of the value of his interdisciplinary approach and produce well-structured arguments that keep them turning pages even as he refocuses his analysis from one disparate example to another. Diamond adds to that a spectacular ability to grasp the meaning of the available evidence produced by scholars in those widely different disciplines - making Guns, Germs and Steel equally valuable as an exercise in high-level interpretation.
Author: Robert D. Kaplan
A fascinating, unprecedented first-hand look at the soldiers on the front lines on the Global War on Terror. Plunging deep into midst of some of the hottest conflicts on the globe, Robert D. Kaplan takes us through mud and jungle, desert and dirt to the men and women on the ground who are leading the charge against threats to American security. These soldiers, fighting in thick Colombian jungles or on dusty Afghani plains, are the forefront of the new American foreign policy, a policy being implemented one soldier at a time. As Kaplan brings us inside their thoughts, feelings, and operations, these modern grunts provide insight and understanding into the War on Terror, bringing the war, which sometimes seems so distant, vividly to life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Why Is Sex Fun?
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Basic Books
To us humans the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female can't be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesn't know her precise time of fertility and certainly doesn't advertise it to human males by the striking color changes, smells, and sounds used by other female mammals.Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest ancestor, the apes? Why does the human female, virtually alone among mammals go through menopause? Why does the human male stand out as one of the few mammals to stay (often or usually) with the female he impregnates, to help raise the children that he sired? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large?There is no one better qualified than Jared Diamond—renowned expert in the fields of physiology and evolutionary biology and award-winning author—to explain the evolutionary forces that operated on our ancestors to make us sexually different. With wit and a wealth of fascinating examples, he explains how our sexuality has been as crucial as our large brains and upright posture in our rise to human status.
The West without Water
Author: B. Lynn Ingram, Frances Malamud-Roam
Publisher: Univ of California Press
The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.
Author: Alex Steffen, Albert Gore
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Provides information about environmental issues and technology, ranging from the home, workplace, and community, to social, cultural, and political arenas, and offers tips and advice to promote environmentally sustainable practices.
Despite the Best Intentions
Author: Amanda E. Lewis, John B. Diamond
Publisher: Oxford University Press
On the surface, Riverview High School looks like the post-racial ideal. Serving an enviably affluent, diverse, and liberal district, the school is well-funded, its teachers are well-trained, and many of its students are high-achieving. Yet Riverview has not escaped the same unrelenting question that plagues schools throughout America: why is it that even when all of the circumstances seem right, black and Latina/o students continue to lag behind their peers? Through five years' worth of interviews and data-gathering at Riverview, Amanda Lewis and John Diamond have created a powerful and illuminating study of how the racial achievement gap continues to afflict American schools more than fifty years after the formal dismantling of segregation. As students progress from elementary school to middle school to high school, their level of academic achievement increasingly tracks along racial lines, with white and Asian students maintaining higher GPAs and standardized testing scores, taking more advanced classes, and attaining better college admission results than their black and Latina/o counterparts. Most research to date has focused on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in urban contexts. Diamond and Lewis instead situate their research in a suburban school, and look at what factors within the school itself could be causing the disparity. Most crucially, they challenge many common explanations of the "racial achievement gap," exploring what race actually means in this situation, and how it matters. Diamond and Lewis' research brings clarity and data into a debate that is too often dominated by stereotyping, race-baiting, and demagoguery. An in-depth study with far-reaching consequences, Despite the Best Intentions revolutionizes our understanding of both the knotty problem of academic disparities and the larger question of the color line in American society.