Twilight at Easter (Island) · Jun 13, 10:11 AM

I’m way behind on my NYRB but I caught an article on Easter Island. Many years ago I read Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon Tiki; now we have a much better idea of what must have happened: an ecological catastrophe.

Jared Diamond knows a thing or two about resources and how they affect human civilizations: he wrote Guns, Germs and Steel .

His conclusion:

Of the two new accounts of Easter Island’s message that Flenley and Bahn and Van Tilburg have now given us, which would I recommend to readers? Both books are so interesting but so dissimilar that those of us attracted to history, exploration, and exotic societies will enjoy reading both. Those interested in none of those things but looking for a florid Gothic novel can read Van Tilburg’s book and try to forget that it happens to be a true story.

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Christian

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