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Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Survive by Jared Diamond
In Collapse, Jared Diamond (Pulitzer Prize-winner for Guns, Germs and Steel) explores the demise of different civilizations throughout history and what omens that might portend for today's societies. He examines the lost civilizations of Easter Island, the Mayans, and the Norse colony on Greenland to show how a combination of pride, population, and lack of appreciation for their dependence on natural resources contributed to their collapse. Extending those lessons to today's world, it could also explain how the environmental and population pressures affected present situations in Haiti and Rwanda, and how events in China and Montana could follow the same path. Collapse has received mostly positive reviews with The Independent saying, "Whether or not one agrees that Diamond has the definitive answer to why all past societies collapsed, he certainly has vitally important points to make about many of them, and especially about the present, which makes this a book that has to be read."