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In Jared Diamond's follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization<P> Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves 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. 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 society's apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.<P> 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?
"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."--Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
A sociological, historical, and biological look at the fates of various human societies.
Hedge fund managers who survived and profited through the 2008 financial crisis share their secretsIn light of the colossal losses and amidst the resulting confusion that still lingers, it is time to rethink money management in the broadest of terms. Drastic changes still need to be made, and managers who actually made money during 2008 make for a logical starting place.This updated and revised edition of The Invisible Hands provides investors and traders with the latest thinking from some of the best and the most successful players in money management, highlighting the specific risk and return objectives of each, and discussing the evolution of certain styles and beliefs in money management.Divulges how top financial professionals are looking forward by thinking clearly, managing risk, and seeking a new paradigm of profit making opportunities in the post-crisis worldOutlines investments and strategies for the rocky road aheadGives guidance on how traditional investors such as pensions, endowments, foundations and family offices should rethink how they approach asset allocation and portfolio constructionWritten by respected industry expert Steven DrobnyPage by page, the professionals found in this book reveal their own approaches to markets, risk, and the broader world in which we live, as well as their advice on how investors should be approaching money management in today's uncertain world.
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.
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.
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."
Physiologist Diamond traces humankind's biological and social development from about 40,000 years ago, to the present, and into the future. For general readers. (c) by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
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.
The bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question: What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better place for all of us?<P> Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday--in evolutionary time--when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.The World Until Yesterday provides a mesmerizing firsthand picture of the human past as it had been for millions of years--a past that has mostly vanished--and considers what the differences between that past and our present mean for our lives today.<P> This is Jared Diamond's most personal book to date, as he draws extensively from his decades of field work in the Pacific islands, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, Kalahari San people, and others. Diamond doesn't romanticize traditional societies--after all, we are shocked by some of their practices--but he finds that their solutions to universal human problems such as child rearing, elder care, dispute resolution, risk, and physical fitness have much to teach us. Provocative, enlightening, and entertaining, The World Until Yesterday is an essential and fascinating read.
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