Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-03-21
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.
'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' DAILY MAIL 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' OBSERVER From the ghostly stone heads of Easter Island to crumbling Mayan cities hidden deep in the jungle, the mysterious ruins of lost worlds and vanished civilizations continue to haunt us. How could such mighty societies fall? And could our skyscrapers one day stand derelict and overgrown like ancient temples? Jared Diamond takes us on an epic journey around the globe, through the history of humanity and on to the future, to discover how - when tomorrow comes - we can be survivors. 'A book that has to be read . . . highly readable, highly persuasive and richly informative' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY '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 'Magnificent' THE NEW YORK TIMES
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-01
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.
Author: Charles L. Redman
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Social Science
Threats to biodiversity, food shortages, urban sprawl . . . lessons for environmental problems that confront us today may well be found in the past. The archaeological record contains hundreds of situations in which societies developed long-term sustainable relationships with their environmentsÑand thousands in which the relationships were destructive. Charles Redman demonstrates that much can be learned from an improved understanding of peoples who, through seemingly rational decisions, degraded their environments and threatened their own survival. By discussing archaeological case studies from around the worldÑfrom the deforestation of the Mayan lowlands to soil erosion in ancient Greece to the almost total depletion of resources on Easter IslandÑRedman reveals the long-range coevolution of culture and environment and clearly shows the impact that ancient peoples had on their world. These case studies focus on four themes: habitat transformation and animal extinctions, agricultural practices, urban growth, and the forces that accompany complex society. They show that humankind's commitment to agriculture has had cultural consequences that have conditioned our perception of the environment and reveal that societies before European contact did not necessarily live the utopian existences that have been popularly supposed. Whereas most books on this topic tend to treat human societies as mere reactors to environmental stimuli, Redman's volume shows them to be active participants in complex and evolving ecological relationships. Human Impact on Ancient Environments demonstrates how archaeological research can provide unique insights into the nature of human stewardship of the Earth and can permanently alter the way we think about humans and the environment.
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.
Author: Patricia A. McAnany
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2010
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."
Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-01-10
Genre: Social Science
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.
Author: John Perlin
Publisher: The Countryman Press
Release Date: 2005-09-20
A contemporary view of the effects of wood, as used for building and fuel, and of deforestation on the development of civilization. Until the ascendancy of fossil fuels, wood has been the principal fuel and building material from the dawn of civilization. Its abundance or scarcity greatly shaped, as A Forest Journey ably relates, the culture, demographics, economy, internal and external politics, and technology of successive societies over the millennia. The book's comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life--told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor—gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard's "One-Hundred Great Books." Others receiving the honor include such luminaries as Stephen Jay Gould and E. O. Wilson. This new paperback edition will add a prologue and an epilogue to reflect the current situation in which forests have become imperative for humanity's survival.
Author: Jared Diamond
Release Date: 2012-12-11
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.
Author: Thomas Homer-Dixon
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2010-04-16
Genre: Political Science
Environmental disasters. Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity. Economic failure. Is this the world's inevitable fate, a downward spiral that ultimately spells the collapse of societies? Perhaps, says acclaimed author Thomas Homer-Dixon - or perhaps these crises can actually lead to renewal for ourselves and planet earth. The Upside of Down takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies' management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this spellbinding book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls "synchronous failure." But, crisis doesn't have to mean total global calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to reinvent our future. Drawing on the worlds of archeology, poetry, politics, science, and economics, The Upside of Down is certain to provoke controversy and stir imaginations across the globe. The author's wide-ranging expertise makes his insights and proposals particularly acute, as people of all nations try to grapple with how we can survive tomorrow's inevitable shocks to our global system. There is no guarantee of success, but there are ways to begin thinking about a better world, and The Upside of Down is the ideal place to start thinking.
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: Matthew Kelly
Release Date: 2017-08-15
This life-changing book addresses the opportunities and obstacles we encounter when we decide to ask life’s BIG questions: Who am I? What am I here for? Full of powerful and practical lessons, Matthew Kelly shows us how to find lasting happiness in a changing world. Newly revised to reflect an even greater emphasis on spiritual growth and realizing God’s dreams for us, Perfectly Yourself is a book for anyone who has failed at a diet, survived the collapse of a relationship, or wondered if he or she would ever find a fulfilling career. Kelly teaches us how to find the balance between accepting ourselves and striving to become all God dreams for us to become. It’s a book for all of us who long to be at peace with who we are, where we are, and what we are doing, not in some distant tomorrow, but here and now—today.