Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his scientific career in physiology and expanded into evolutionary biology and biogeography. Among his many awards are the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Prize honoring the Scientist as Poet, presented by The Rockefeller University. His previous books include Why Is Sex Fun?, The Third Chimpanzee, Collapse, The World Until Yesterday, and Guns, Germs, and Steel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
Norse Greenland: A Controlled Experiment in Collapse--A Selection from Collapse (Penguin Tracks)by Jared Diamond
This excerpt from the New York Times–bestselling book Collapse takes a timely and fascinating look at prehistoric Norse Greenland—the/i>/i>/b>/i>
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.
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I generally like Diamond's books, but the Greenland section is flawed. He claims the Greenlanders avoided fish, yet their is ample evidence of large-scale fishing activity in Greenland at the time of the Norse colony. I generally felt he had an agenda in this book and was purposeful in his mis-characterization of the Norse colony.