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Sudden Losses of Complexity

Edmund Leach, 10 November 1988

The Collapse of Complex Societies 
by Joseph Tainter.
Cambridge, 250 pp., £27.50, June 1988, 0 521 34092 6
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... been elected a member of the Académie Française in 1925 and is primarily renowned as a poet. But Tainter brands him as the ‘noted French social philosopher’, with the suggestion that he was still alive in 1962. From time to time he asks his readers to consider the implications of his story for the world that we now live in, but he would certainly argue ...

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