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.
"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] wears the mantle of a modern-day prophet [...] opens textures of historical possibility."
– Book of the Day, The Guardian
"Persuasive [...] runs refreshingly counter to conventional wisdom"
"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 does it again: another rich, original, and fascinating chapter in the human saga-with vital lessons for our difficult times."
– Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now
"Upheaval is a brilliant, gripping, personal account of nations in crisis, informed by how people respond to crisis. It's an especially timely read today, when nations are stressed and have much to learn about how to survive big challenges. I urge you to read it."
– Paul Ehrlich, author of Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic
"In Upheaval, I find eye-opening lessons about the political and psychological forces that lead to crisis and then resilience, how individuals and nations experience trauma in similar ways, and what that suggests about our future and the world's [...] wise and beautiful."
– Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife
"Jared Diamond is one of the deepest thinkers and most authoritative writers of our time – arguably of all time – and Upheaval proves his prescience in analyzing historical crises within nations at a time when national crises have erupted around the world [...] No scientist has ever won the Nobel Prize for literature. Jared Diamond should be the first."
– Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of Heavens on Earth