Book Review – Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change by Jared Diamond

Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and ChangeUpheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Changeby Jared Diamond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book last year at Dalkey Book Festival where Jared
Diamond gave a stirring keynote address on the crisis facing world today including climate change, population explosion and other myriad ailments. I got lucky to shake hands with the great polymath and also got my copy personally signed by him. I picked up my signed copy last week, was hooked and finished the book in three days.

This is a seminal account of the crisis faced by six countries, what they did to overcome that crisis and what lessons can be learned from that crisis management by these countries.
This is the third instalment of his trilogy on nations and societies, Guns Germs & Steel is one of my personal favourites. That book provided a new perspective on why world is divided into First World and Third World. He provided a logical reasoning that it is not a fault of human societies of those regions but is just an accident of geography. His next nook Collapse gave an account of what makes human societies fail and move to oblivion. That was a real pessimistic account of some already collapsed human societies but in this latest book Jared Diamond provides the hope that crisis does not mean collapse but some societies are able to cope with the crisis better and overcome those challenges to come out either unscathed or even better than before.

The book provides a framework for crisis management for the nations in crisis and helps provide a template for future leaders to help their nations move on to a better course of peace and prosperity. The book is also a revision of the contemporary history
of these nations and provides an insight into why those countries took those suicidal crisis ridden paths and how then they changed course for better. The book is not as good as the previous books in this series but is still a great read.

View all my reviews

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