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Fates of Nations
 
by
Paul Colinvaux
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Fates of Nations

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  16 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Hardcover, 383 pages
Published August 18th 1980 by Simon & Schuster
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Fons Jena
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Paul Colinvaux develops an interesting ecological theory - which I try to summarize in the next paragraph – that he then uses to explain the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman empire, the success of the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, the colonization of America by Europeans, the independence of the US from Europe and the empire-building endeavors of the various European nations. Finally, he uses his theory to make some projections for the future.

The ecological theory he has de
...more
Zach
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
His ecological theories are interesting, but not very convincing as a Theory of Everything in History. He is careful to explain why population pressure happens, but he doesn't offer any explanation of why that sometimes brings technological advances in war. Why did the Greeks and not the Persians develop the phalanx? Why did the Romans and not the Carthaginians develop the legion? Why couldn't either copy the approach, like the victims in the modern West did? I don't have a great explanation of ...more
Tim Robinson
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An original and provocative investigation into the nature of war between nations. What makes a nation aggressive? (Wealth) What makes a nation victorious? (Wealth and technology) Why big countries win long wars but small countries can win short ones. Which countries have the most to gain from nuclear war? (Britain and Japan) What happened to defeated nations in antiquity? (They were wiped out)

Not all the arguments are convincing, but Colinvaux asks some fascinating and important questions.
Toby Newton
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this very much. It's a simplification, of course - but less reductive than many other more recognised and weightier approaches to the sweep of history. And Colinvaux' often counterintuitive observations are never less than thought-provoking.
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Joe
Very interesting. A book on the ecological underpinnings of politics. Basically, how human history has been shaped by human reproduction. (I mean the consequences of human biological reproduction.) Expanding population often (not always) translates into expanding power.
...If this is true, some commentators believe that southern Europe is probably lost to Islam.
Now, an expanding power? What does that require?
1. Popular hope. Usually, a rising standard of living across all segments of the populat
...more
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