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In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, at a time when crises are erupting around the world, he reveals what makes certain nations resilient in the face of tremendous upheaval.
In a riveting journey into the recent past, he traces how six countries have survived defining catastrophes – from the forced opening of Japan to the Soviet invasion of Finland to Chile's brutal Pinochet regime – through selective change, a coping mechanism more commonly associated with personal trauma. He identifies unique patterns in the way that these distinctive modern nations – all countries in which he has lived – have recovered from these upheavals. Looking ahead to the gravest threats we face in the future, he investigates the risk that 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?
Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals the factors that influence how both nations and individuals can respond to enormous challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.
Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs and Steel, which was named one of Time magazine's best non-fiction books of all time, Collapse, a No. 1 international bestseller, and The World Until Yesterday, among other books. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.