Download Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis PDF book free online. A “riveting and fascinating” Bill Gates Summer Reading pick by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel explores how and why some societies recover from trauma while others don’t (Yuval Noah Harari).
Jared Diamond revolutionized our knowledge of what causes civilizations to grow and fall with his international bestsellers Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse. In the third installment of this important trilogy, he explains how successful nations recover from crises by making selective changes, a coping technique more often associated with people recovering from personal catastrophes. GET FREE AUDIOBOOK
Diamond explores how six countries have survived recent upheavals, ranging from Commodore Perry’s navy forcing Japan’s opening, to the Soviet Union’s invasion on Finland, to a homicidal coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after WWII. Diamond can convey gut-wrenching experiences directly because he has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries. These countries dealt in various ways, including accepting responsibility, excruciatingly honest self-evaluation, and learning from other countries’ models. Diamond explores whether the United States, Japan, and the rest of the world are successfully coping with the grave difficulties they are currently facing in the future. Can we learn from history’s mistakes?
Upheaval adds a psychological component to Diamond’s books’ in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology, revealing elements that influence how whole nations and individuals adapt to major difficulties. The outcome is a novel that is both enormous in scope and deeply personal.
Table of Contents
Summary of Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis pdf
Lesson 1: In order to discover a solution to both national and personal problems, 12 aspects must be examined.
Everyone who has reached adulthood has gone through a crisis. Perhaps it was an adolescent identity problem. Perhaps it happened at a different stage of life, such as mid-life or retirement. They might be abrupt or gradual, but either way, it’s an indication that your current attitude to life isn’t working for you and it’s time to make a change.
Countries experience the same thing. Nations have discovered that the current system is ineffective and that a change is required. An estimate claims that every 12 years, US towns will experience a technological crisis. Infrastructure and systems that keep the city functioning fast become outmoded as technology advances.
Diamond identifies 12 aspects that can assist us in finding a solution, whether personal or national:
Recognizing the problem. You can’t solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it.
Accepting responsibility and making a decision.
Identifying what needs to change and what is vital enough to your identity to remain unchanged. Selective change is another term for this.
Seek assistance from those around you.
Consider how others have handled similar situations.
Recognizing your individual or national identity.
Making an honest assessment of oneself.
Recognizing and using what you’ve learned from previous situations.
Patience in the face of failure.
Flexibility is important.
Establish your essential values.
Identifying the obstacles to selected transformation.
Let’s look at some examples from history to see how they might apply.
Lesson 2: We can learn from Japan and Germany about how to solve difficult challenges.
Japan has long embraced isolationist views. So, when the US demanded access to ports for Pacific business on their shores in the 1850s, they were understandably upset. Many opposed the agreement since it provided little value to Japan, while others said it was foolish to expect they could remain alone.
All of this culminated when a new leader attempted to modernize Japan and open it up to foreigners, resulting in a coup and civil war. The conflict ended with the election of a new leader, ushering in the Meiji era. The new leaders quickly realized that the previous leaders were correct: Japan could no longer remain isolated and needed to modernize in order to become a respected player on the global arena.
They first recognized the issue, then searched out ways to improve by doing an honest self-evaluation. They made certain changes, like as accepting Western schooling and strengthening their military, while maintaining much of their culture. It took time and patience, but it prepared them to defeat Russia in the Tsushima Strait, their first war against a Western force.
Following WWII, Germany likewise faced a major dilemma. Millions died, the country was divided, and much harm occurred. They were split into two groups: East and West. Many people fled to the West after the Democratic Republic of Germany was established, which they perceived as a more restricted administration. The rest of Europe realized that the West was no longer a threat, and they were included in the Marshall Plan, which helped European countries recover from the war.
Then came West Germany’s selective shift. They created their own money and entered the free market. A series of reforms followed, aimed at making Germany less authoritarian and giving women more rights. The fact that their chancellor, Willy Brandt, went on a foreign relations trip to ask other countries for forgiveness for the war was the most striking of all. West Germany was able to rejoin the country in 1989 because to their flexibility and patience.
Lesson 3: The world is confronting a variety of threats that can only be overcome by collaborating.
Diamond also cites five other examples of countries that have overcome crises in the modern age in the book. It’s inspiring to witness how nations can overcome adversity and prosper through deliberate transformation.
Because nations have grown so intertwined as a result of globalization, Diamond contends that it is more vital than ever to examine the global challenges we face. Nuclear weapons, loss of natural resources, climate change, and unfair economic distribution are just a few of the serious issues.
Increasing CO2 emissions cause global temperatures to rise, triggering a slew of other issues such as rising sea levels and the extinction of important species. If we want the globe to be sustainable, we must slow down overfishing and deforestation.
Many of these issues can be solved in part by limiting our consumption. But, in order to accomplish it, we must all work together as individuals on this planet to recognize the problem, accept responsibility, and make targeted adjustments. Only through teamwork will we as a world be able to avoid the crises we are on the verge of.
About the Author
Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jared Diamond is a well-known polymath. The US National Medal of Science, the Japan Cosmos Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and election to the US National Academy of Sciences are just a few of his many honors. He is the author of the best-selling international books Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, Why Is Sex Fun?, The World Until Yesterday, and The Third Chimpanzee, as well as the host of three TV documentary series based on those books.