Talks about the mysterious collapse of past civilizations - and what this means for the future. Bringing together evidence from many sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, this book shows how unlike our ancestors we can benefit from our knowledge of the past.
From the author of No.1 international bestseller Collapse, a mesmerizing portrait of the human past that offers profound lessons for how we can live todayVisionary, prize-winning author Jared Diamond changed the way we think about the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Now he returns with another epic - and groundbreaking - journey into our rapidly receding past. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window onto how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature. Drawing extensively on his decades working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Diamond explores how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from childrearing to conflict resolution to health, and discovers we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies to the surprising benefits of multilingualism. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how to live well today. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a #1 international bestseller. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.
From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations.Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future.What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island?What happened 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, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors.'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race'
;;Daily Mail'Riveting, superb, terrifying'
;;Observer'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it'
;;Economist'This book shines like all Diamond's work'
;;Sunday TimesJared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
A study of the downfall of some of history's greatest civilizations, written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, includes coverage of such cultures as the Anasazi, the Maya, and the Viking colony on Greenland, tracing patterns of environmental damage, climate change, poor political choices, and other factors that were pivotal to their demise. Reader's Guide available. Reprint.