reviewed by Richard Heinberg
Civilizations tend to collapse. That is the rule we learn from history, a rule whose implications deserve careful thought given that our own civilization is busily severing its ecological underpinnings. Thus we should pay close attention to a new book by Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel, on how and why whole societies sometimes lose their way and descend into chaos.
Diamond traces the process of collapse in several ancient societies (including the Easter Islanders, the Maya, and the Greenland Norse colony) and show parallels with trends in several modern nations (Rwanda, Haiti, and Australia).