As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving 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, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. 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 societys 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?...Continua
Un libro molto interessante che ti sbatte in faccia la verità sulla nostra società e la sua sostenibilità a lungo e a breve termine. Le posizioni sono molto bilanciate tra ambientalismo e leggi di mercato. La pecca è lo stile, troppo accademico (l'autore è un professore), troppo attento a spiegare bene le cose che finisce per ripetere gli stessi concetti, con continui elenchi numerati di fattori importanti. E' un po' come leggere una tesi di dottorato: interessante, chiara, ma spesso non passa proprio....Continua
Un libro illuminante. Da insegnare a scuola.
Interesting and well documented book about how it's easy to make disastrous choiches.
Hopefully it's only marginally more difficult to make the good ones, and Diamod tries hard (maybe too hard?) to direct us on an evironmentally sensible path.
If you read an essay this year, make sure this is the one....Continua
Concise review: a must read book. Verbosity follows...
Reading "Collapse" will hardly left you untouched, especially if you are not familiar with rigorous treatises about ecology and society development. And you're not stupid.
The book is a mine of facts, supports its conclusions with those facts and good reasoning, explains why and how the author reached those conclusions, answers the usual objections to those conclusions and suggests further readings and actions to the convinced and the non convinced ones. This makes it a long book and not a page turner: that's because there is so much on every page to be assimilated, that you (well, should say I) don't want to waste any inch of it. Also, reading it in English while not being English could have exacerbated things.
In fact, the first chapter, about modern Montana, was a little underwhelming on the onset: what... I was in for the Maya and the Rapa Nui and you give me Montana? But then the facts start flowing, and the parallels between ancient and modern societies let you understand that archeology is not just a mere leisure, but also a way to understand the rights and wrongs of our ancestors and to avoid the latter while trying to achieve the former. Those parallels would have to wait for the last chapters if it wasn't for that first chapter, so consider it a necessary struggle, kind of like for somebody are the first chapters of "The Lord of the Rings".
The conclusions are maybe nothing new, but so well grounded in a coherent and factual discourse that are hard to dismiss: societies should not hook themselves to their values and traditions, but choose those valuable and discard those that put at risk their present and future survival; the elite should not insulate from the rest of the world in a golden cage, because this way they'll only buy themselves the right to be the last one to starve to death (metaphorically or literally); we have to act for ourselves, everyone of us, because nobody will come and save the day; we should take global actions, because we all share the same planet, and there's only one.
Sorry for the long review, but there's no way to express in a sentence or two, what this book gave me; and I also felt necessary to let you know what you have to give to this book before you'll get your reward.