Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

4.1 119
by Jared Diamond
     
 

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 ...See more details below

Overview

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 ...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670033379
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/2004
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 6.44(h) x 1.83(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

List of Maps xiii

Prologue: A Tale of Two Farms 1
Two farms
Collapses, past and present
Vanished Edens?
A five-point framework
Businesses and the environment
The comparative method
Plan of the book

Part One: MODERN MONTANA 25

Chapter 1: Under Montana's Big Sky 27
Stan Falkow's story
Montana and me
Why begin with Montana?
Montana's economic history
Mining
Forests
Soil
Water
Native and non-native species
Differing visions
Attitudes towards regulation
Rick Laible's story
Chip Pigman's story
Tim Huls's story
John Cook's story
Montana, model of the world

Part Two: PAST SOCIETIES 77

Chapter 2: Twilight at Easter 79
The quarry's mysteries
Easter's geography and history
People and food
Chiefs, clans, and commoners
Platforms and statues
Carving, transporting, erecting
The vanished forest
Consequences for society
Europeans and explanations
Why was Easter fragile?
Easter as metaphor

Chapter 3: The Last People Alive: Pitcairn and Henderson Islands 120
Pitcairn before the Bounty
Three dissimilar islands
Trade
The movie's ending

Chapter 4: The Ancient Ones: The Anasazi and Their Neighbors 136
Desert farmers
Tree rings
Agricultural strategies
Chaco's problems and packrats
Regional integration
Chaco's decline and end
Chaco's message

Chapter 5: The Maya Collapses 157
Mysteries of lost cities
The Maya environment
Maya agriculture
Maya history
Copßn
Complexities of collapses
Wars and droughts
Collapse in the southern lowlands
The Maya message

Chapter 6: The Viking Prelude and Fugues 178
Experiments in the Atlantic
The Viking explosion
Autocatalysis
Viking agriculture
Iron
Viking chiefs
Viking religion
Orkneys, Shetlands, Faeroes
Iceland's environment
Iceland's history
Iceland in context
Vinland

Chapter 7: Norse Greenland's Flowering 211
Europe's outpost
Greenland's climate today
Climate in the past
Native plants and animals
Norse settlement
Farming
Hunting and fishing
An integrated economy
Society
Trade with Europe
Self-image

Chapter 8: Norse Greenland's End 248
Introduction to the end
Deforestation
Soil and turf damage
The Inuit's predecessors
Inuit subsistence
Inuit/Norse relations
The end
Ultimate causes of the end

Chapter 9: Opposite Paths to Success 277
Bottom up, top down
New Guinea highlands
Tikopia
Tokugawa problems
Tokugawa solutions
Why Japan succeeded
Other successes

Part Three: MODERN SOCIETIES 309

Chapter 10: Malthus in Africa: RwandaÆs Genocide 311
A dilemma
Events in Rwanda
More than ethnic hatred
Buildup in Kanama
Explosion in Kanama
Why it happened

Chapter 11: One Island, Two Peoples, Two Histories:
The Dominican Republic and Haiti 329
Differences
Histories
Causes of divergence
Dominican environmental impacts
Balaguer
The Dominican environment today
The future

Chapter 12: China, Lurching Giant 358
China's significance
Background
Air, water, soil
Habitat, species, megaprojects
Consequences
Connections
The future

Chapter 13: "Mining" Australia 378
Australia's significance
Soils
Water
Distance
Early history
Imported values
Trade and immigration
Land degradation
Other environmental problems
Signs of hope and change

Part Four: PRACTICAL LESSONS 417
Chapter 14: Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous
Decisions? 419
Road map for success
Failure to anticipate
Failure to perceive
Rational bad behavior
Disastrous values
Other irrational failures
Unsuccessful solutions
Signs of hope

Chapter 15: Big Businesses and the Environment:
Different Conditions, Different Outcomes 441
Resource extraction
Two oil fields
Oil company motives
Hardrock mining operations
Mining company motives
Differences among mining companies
The logging industry
Forest Stewardship Council
The seafood industry
Businesses and the public

Chapter 16: The World as a Polder: What Does It All Mean to Us Today? 486
Introduction
The most serious problems
If we don't solve them . . .
Life in Los Angeles
One-liner objections
The past and the present
Reasons for hope
Acknowledgments 526
Further Readings 529
Index 561
Illustration Credits 576

LIST OF MAPS
The World: Prehistoric, Historic, and Modern Societies 4û5
Contemporary Montana 31
The Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn Islands, and Easter Island 84û85
The Pitcairn Islands 122
Anasazi Sites 142
Maya Sites 161
The Viking Expansion 182û183
Contemporary Hispaniola 331
Contemporary China 361
Contemporary Australia 386
Political Trouble Spots of the Modern World;
Environmental Trouble Spots of the Modern World 497
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