Archive for February, 2011

Guns, germs and collapse- part 2

February 21, 2011

As promised, part 2 of the Diamond-linked book reviews.


Guns, germs and collapse (part 1)

February 6, 2011

Part 1 (of 2 or 3) of an extended review of the following books— mostly in short note form. They cover overlapping ground, so there should be some kind of a common theme running through these posts.

Jared Diamond:
Guns, Germs and Steel
(Part 1)

McAnany and Yoffee (eds):
Questioning Collapse
Walker and Salt:
Resilience thinking
(Part 2)

Jared Diamond (ed):
Natural Experiments of History
(Part 2 or possibly 3)

The first two I read some time ago, and the others more recently. ‘Questioning Collapse’ (QC) unsurprisingly questions ‘Collapse’ and to a lesser extent, ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ (GGS); ‘Resilience Thinking’ describes an idea that QC references as part of its riposte to Collapse and GGS, but doesn’t really elaborate; and ‘Natural Experiments of History’ I’ve got but haven’t read yet (it looks like Diamond’s defence of his methods, as a slightly tangential reply to QC).

Firstly, Collapse and GGS. I haven’t gone back to these books after my initial readings, so these notes will serve as a “what sticks in the mind several years later” impression (with some prompts from having just read McAnany/Yoffee’s book).