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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Collapse by Jared Diamond


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An important book by the author of an equally important book, Guns, Germs and Steel. This looks at all the main civilisations and what went wrong and how we, forewarned, possibly may survive. It’s extraordinarily readable, full of fascinating facts and highly recommended.

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Collapse by Jared Diamond

From groundbreaking writer and thinker Jared Diamond comes an epic, visionary new book on the mysterious collapse of past civilizations - and what this means for our future. Why do some societies flourish, while others founder? What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island or to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Collapse also shows how unlike our ancestors we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors.

About the Author

Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond was born in Boston to a physician father and a teacher/musician/linguist mother. After training in laboratory biological science he became Professor of Physiology at UCLA Medical School in 1966. However, already while in his twenties, he also developed a second parallel career in the ecology and evolution of New Guinea birds. That led him to explore some of the most remote parts of that great tropical island, and to rediscover New Guinea’s long-lost Golden-fronted Bowerbird. In his fifties he gradually developed a third career in environmental history, becoming Professor of Geography and of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA.

As well as being renowned in academic circles, Jared Diamond is famous for his prize-winning books The Third Chimpanzee and Why is Sex Fun?, and for revolutionizing the study of global human history with Guns, Germs and Steel. His awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (a ‘genius award’), and the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. The broad range of disciplines that he weaves into his writing – linguistics, genetics, animal behaviour, molecular biology and others – caused a reviewer to write, ‘ “Jared Diamond” is suspected of actually being the pseudonym for a committee of experts.’ In his spare time he watches birds and learns languages (he is currently learning his twelfth). He is the father of seventeen-year-old twin sons who have informed much of his outlook on life.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th January 2006


Jared Diamond

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Penguin Books Ltd


Paperback (b Format)
608 pages


The Real World
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