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Book Review of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
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Helpful Score: 2


I read Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies back when everyone was reading it, and I really enjoyed it, although I remember skimming through a lot of Diamond's blah blah blah. Collapse was much the same.

I really, really enjoyed the parts where he talked about societies that have failed, completely disappearing off the map, and how archaeologists have pieced together the story of the collapse. If this book was simply a collection of those stories, I would probably have given it four or five stars. (The book would also have been about half the length.)

But Diamond's thesis is broad and sweeping, beginning with Montana and ending with Australia, and his endless list of causes and effects became monotonous. I skimmed through a lot of blah blah blah. In fact, I felt like there was more blah blah blah than in GG&S, but maybe my tolerance has decreased in the past decade or so.


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