Book Review: Collapse by Jared Diamond

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

I’m not particularly a fan of history, but this book has been recommended to me by several colleagues. It’s been on my “to read” shelf for almost a year now, so it’s high time I got to it!

The fly leaf gives us this hint: “Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global theses throughout a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives,” and I was not disappointed after that promise. This long slog (525 pages) through history looking at failed societies left me with a sense of impending doom. Despite Diamond’s attempt to show that there is hope, I find very little hope for awakening the world population to the disastrous repeat of history.

Collapse is replete with detailed analysis of failed societies and the lessons we haven’t learned from those failures. Diamond clearly points out that these lessons do in fact apply to us today, and that is what has lead me to the sense of impending doom. I’m not at all convinced that we will “wake up” in time. Yet, perhaps, if enough people read this book and go to Gore’s documentary on global warming, we will be able to figure out next steps to cleaning things up. What we need to do, and to stop doing, becomes very obvious when you read this compelling analysis – the trick will be to make it happen.

Click to view at Amazon.