In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis.
Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile - through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path towards catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past?
Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond's work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.
Fascinating... I'm a big fan of everything Jared has written, and his latest is no exception. ... I finished the book even more optimistic about our ability to solve problems than I started. (Bill Gates, Summer Reading Recommendations 2019)
Upheaval is bold, wide-ranging and original ... probes large and important questions. Unlike most social scientists, Diamond can write invigorating prose that carries the reader along with its sweep ... It deserves to be widely read and pondered. (Vernon Bogdanor The Sunday Telegraph)
A riveting and illuminating tour of how nations deal with crises-which might hopefully help humanity as a whole deal with our present global crisis. (Yuval Noah Harari, author of 'Sapiens' and '21 Lessons for the 21st Century')
Jared Diamond is an undisputed global star of comparative history... Britain could learn from this book about how other nations have dealt with turmoil... He finds intellectually stimulating and unusual examples that provide much food for thought. (Andrew Marr The Times)
Diamond writes so well, and his frame of reference (across disciplines and languages) is so considerable, that almost everything he describes comes across as fresh. (Douglas Murray The Evening Standard)
[Diamond] wears the mantle of a modern-day prophet . . . opens textures of historical possibility. Only the most obtuse reader of his latest book, on national resilience, could miss the signs and portents with which it is studded ... The prophet spares us chiselled commandments, but we have been warned. (Colin Kidd, Book of the Day The Guardian)
Fascinating globe-hopping study (The Telegraph)
As a meditation about a world on edge, it is well worth reading (The Economist)