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Longleaf Select University Press Titles Spring/Summer 2021

All Societies Die
How to Keep Hope Alive
By (author): Samuel Cohn
Samuel Cohn


Cornell University Press



Product Form:



General Trade : Age (years) 18
Apr 15, 2021
$36.95 CAD


9.5in x 6 x 0.9 in | 480 gr

Page Count:

272 pages


15 b&w line drawings, 2 maps
Cornell University Press
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Future Studies
Social forecasting, future studies|Central / national / federal government policies|Development economics and emerging economies

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.

Samuel Cohn is Professor of Sociology at Texas A & M University. He is the Founder and First President of the American Sociological Association Section on Development He is author of The Process of Occupational Sex-typing and Employment and Development under Globalization. Follow him on Twitter @Samuel__Cohn.

"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!

"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

"Thought-provoking, entertainingly written and a book that will influence you more and more as you delve into Global Development. In short, it's a terrific read as well as a major scholarly achievement."

- Rae Lesser Blumberg, University of Virginia, author of Development in Crisis

"All Societies Die is judiciously researched and expertly written, and its philosophical insights could potentially make the difference between utopia and dystopia in both the present and the future. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library Social Issues collections."

- Midwest Book Review

"This exciting and thought-provoking book provides a brief historical analysis of the causes of death of great civilizations by depicting factors that led to the collapse of powerful empires."

- Social Forces

"In this highly accessible and thought-provoking book, Cohn addresses the factors that contribute to societal collapse with the aim of identifying what needs to be collectively addressed to avoid the collapse of today's global society. Informed by historical and contemporary sources, this is an important contribution to historical and political sociology collections."

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