Why did the Fertile Crescent fail where Europe prospered in long term food production?

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I do not know if your class is currently studying Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, but this is a question that Diamond addresses in his book.  He concludes that the Fertile Crescent, which was where farming began, was less successful in the long term because it was ecologically fragile. 

As Diamond says on p. 410, it is very odd for us today to think that the “Fertile...

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