Turning Points for Nations in Crisis

Book - 2019
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In his previous books 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 Austria 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.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316409131
Branch Call Number: 303.48 DIA
Characteristics: ix, 502 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


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Jul 16, 2019

Should be standard reading in all government offices- provided they actually read, and university-level history/sociology courses.

Jul 15, 2019

I probably did not give this book the close reading it deserves -- I sort of skimmed parts that were more analysis than story.

Jul 06, 2019

Can’t say this is his strongest offering. I found that he very loosely followed the defining structure he presents at the start of the book. In fact he hardly makes credible links to that structure when winding up his very loose history of the country’s period of upheaval. I think there are better historical authors and works that I would look for before recommending this work. With Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse he makes a much more credible case for his thesis than with this book. I couldn’t bother to finish it because I found much more interesting works to read.

Jun 05, 2019

I decided not to wait for this book to be available and bought it. Just finished it, and I found it both interesting and very helpful. The framework he uses to analyze and compare how 7 nations dealt with crises is familiar to me because I've been through it in dealing with crises in my own life. He explains it quite clearly in the prologue and first chapter in the book. He proposes this framework as a way of understanding history and a way of thinking about what might be happening in the future world wide (last chapter). Makes a lot of sense to me.

I was a child at the end of WWII so I have lived through the period since and remember the news stories and reactions to world events. This analysis put the bits and pieces of what I remembered into a better understanding of how we got to where we are today that I wondered about. For example, why Finland survived as a nation, how Germany recovered relatively quickly and is now our ally, just what happened in Chile. (We in the United States .know appallingly so little about South and Central America!)

I think this book is very valuable, and I hope my children and grandchildren will be reading it - soon!

May 24, 2019

The author defines "crisis" very broadly and doesn't come up with a grand formula for how countries deal with one. But I did learn some interesting things.

May 12, 2019

I expected to enjoy "Upheaval," having been captivated by "Guns, Germs and Steel." But this book is a bunch of psychological theories (courtesy of his wife?), some personal memories, and a bit of history of 7 countries. I gave up early.

Apr 30, 2019

Please order the ebook version, LL

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