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In All Societies Die, Samuel Cohn asks us to prepare for the inevitable. Our society is going to die. What are you going to do about it? But he also wants us to know that there's still reason for hope.
In an immersive and mesmerizing discussion Cohn considers what makes societies (throughout history) collapse. All Societies Die points us to the historical examples of the Byzantine empire, the collapse of Somalia, the rise of Middle Eastern terrorism, the rise of drug cartels in Latin America and the French Revolution to explain how societal decline has common features and themes. Cohn takes us on an easily digestible journey through history. While he unveils the past, his message to us about the present is searing.
Through his assessment of past—and current—societies, Cohn offers us a new way of looking at societal growth and decline. With a broad panorama of bloody stories, unexpected historical riches, crime waves, corruption, and disasters, he shows us that although our society will, inevitably, die at some point, there's still a lot we can do to make it better and live a little longer.
His quirky and inventive approach to an "end-of-the-world" scenario should be a warning. We're not there yet. Cohn concludes with a strategy of preserving and rebuilding so that we don't have to give a eulogy anytime soon.
"This book is outstanding. All Societies Die should be the first stop for anyone who wants to understand the factors that contribute to societal collapse. Compellingly written and genuinely original, this short and punchy book is a deeply needed accomplishment."
Richard Lachmann, author of First Class Passengers on a Sinking Ship
"The timeliness of All Societies Die is undeniable. A breezy, fascinating page-turner, Samuel Cohn is clear that history doesn't determine future... we can change things – we just need to decide to do so."
Susan Marquis, author of I Am Not a Tractor!