Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis

In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.

Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Australia after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past?

Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal book yet.

Title:Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780316409131
Format Type:

    Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis Reviews

  • Bill Gates

    I feel very lucky to work with my wife, and not just because I get to spend extra time with her. Melinda’s way of looking at the world makes me better at my job.Jared Diamond says he owes the idea f...

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”An example of presumed lack of models is provided by the U.S. today, for which belief in American exceptionalism translates into the widespread belief that the U.S. has nothing to learn from Canada...

  • Will Byrnes

    There is a large body of research and anecdotal information, built up by therapists, about the resolution of personal crises. Could the resulting conclusions help us understand the resolution of nati...

  • Randall Wallace

    This book explains how six countries historically dealt with their own deep crisis and upheaval. Jared believes these six stories will help us solve any present or future U.S crisis or upheaval. He be...

  • Mehrsa

    There is just nothing new or noteworthy in this book. There is not a coherent theory of crisis, just a few bullet point lists of things these countries have in common, which is really a stretch. Some ...

  • David Wineberg

    Diamond in the RoughAlbert Einstein spent the last half of his life trying to fit the universe into one elegant formula. He did not succeed. Jared Diamond is trying to do the same with national politi...

  • Andrew

    Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, by Jared Diamond, is an narrative history looking at crisis in nation states within the 20th century (or so). The book charts these crisis in terms of t...

  • Faith

    “Successful coping with either external or internal pressure requires selective change. That’s as true of nations as of individuals.” The author describes and compares crises and selective chang...

  • Chris Leuchtenburg

    I guess when you are smart enough to master six languages in your youth and publish two, thought-provoking and popular books, you can get anything published. Diamond skims along the surfaces of comple...

  • Megan Bell

    In this follow-up to Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond shows how nations have overcome crises through methods individuals often practice in overcoming personal trauma. Through his his...