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Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in…
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Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis (original 2019; udgave 2019)

af Jared Diamond (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5121636,042 (3.79)12
In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steeland Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile - through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether 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? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond's work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.… (mere)
Medlem:egpozuelo
Titel:Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
Forfattere:Jared Diamond (Forfatter)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2019), 512 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis af Jared Diamond (2019)

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Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
A fascinating book, which draws you on into its argument based on just seven countries that have had to face challenging circumstances. This does not of course constitute any type of random or representative sample, based as it is on the author's personal familiarity with those particular countries. However the 12 "factors related to the outcomes of national crises" provide a generalized and fairly acceptable framework to look at other situations, especially the reader's own country and its neighbors. On this basis, it is quite evident that successful countries (and individuals!) have generally been realistic, self-aware, flexible, willing to learn from others, and so on. It should be fairly simple and straight-forward to develop this sort of understanding into best-option suggestions for each country's or institution's leadership. ( )
  Dilip-Kumar | May 1, 2021 |
A book which tries to apply psychological theory of individual decision making and course correction to nation-states, which seems interesting but is ultimately not a good technique to understand geopolitics. Surprisingly mediocre for a Bill Gates recommendation. More 3.5, could be a 4 if you were really uninformed going into it, purely because a few of the historical examples he chose (particularly Chile, Indonesia, Finland) are themselves really interesting stories, and maybe a reader would go read more about them elsewhere.

There were zero new insights into any of the nations covered (it's standard mainstream historical overview for the historical examples, and leftist politics for the US). There was neither new data beyond basically Wikipedia-level overview, nor did the analysis method produce any insights. What's unclear to me was if the book was written entirely as a wrapper to deliver the criticism of increased political polarization in the USA, climate change, etc. message, or if that was bolted on.

( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
This book is not for me. This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago, I think by Bill Gates but it might have been by someone else, and I was initially very curious to see how national crisis management happened historically all over the world.

This book is cherry picking a few countries with problems that parallel or contrast the problems facing US and the countries seem to be picked from a list of countries the author frequently visit rather than anything else.

I did appreciate the telling of the history of the Indonesian and Chilean miltary coups, in the 1960s and 1970s respectively, since I only had a fleeting understanding of what happened. Not that the book went very deep into the details but it was still much more than I knew. For instance, I wasn’t aware of the public support Pinochet had and how the normal democratic trust mechanisms in Chile had broken down in the years preceeding the coup. That also explains why that chapter was included since it acts as a scary example of where extreme polarisation can get you.

The author has created a system with 12 criteria/factors in a crisis developing and resolving. They are somewhat useful but not when he includes statements such as ”this is a good example of factor number 7”, without saying what factor number 7 is. They don’t add much to the overall book or explanation. It is more like the author saw some patterns and wanted to make a table. Good for them, but not that interesting unless you can use them to make predictions.

If you are an American worried about how the US can and should change to overcome the current problems, then this book can be a nice background, but overall, I would not recommend it to anyone. Sorry Bill.

( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
(3.5/5) Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis, is the latest history work by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond, best known for his books Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse (I’ve read and highly recommend the former). In this book, Professor Diamond explores how, throughout history, various nations have responded to “crises”, and what lessons we can learn from their experiences.

As a work of history, the first thing the reader will notice is the somewhat unconventional methodological approach. Diamond selects seven nations to serve as case studies – Finland, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, (West) Germany, Australia, and the United States – all of which (except Japan) were chosen because he had firsthand experience living in them. The approach feels more like an anthropologist in the field, as Diamond explicitly avoids extensive archival research or reviews of academic literature, preferring his own observations and assessments of how the countries in question addressed their calamities. He does this through an almost individualistic framework – his model of how countries respond to national crises is derived from psychological assessments designed to study how individuals deal with personal failures. The factors assessed are thus along the lines of “acceptance of responsibility”, “sense of identity”, “core values”, “flexibility”, “external support”, etc.

Chapters 2 through 7, dealing with the national case studies, were the ones I found most enjoyable and informative. Hop-scotching across the world with (the disgustingly polyglottal) Diamond, we see how Finland dealt with the Winter and Continuation Wars and its subsequent Finlandization; how Japan implemented the Meiji Restoration in response to Commodore Perry’s black ships; how Chile deal with Allende and Pinochet; Indonesia with Sukarno and Suharto; Germany with the aftermath of World War II (written as ‘World War Two’ throughout the entire book, for some bizarre reason); and Australia’s separation from the British Motherland. We see nations experimenting with different policies and responses, sometimes successfully and sometimes catastrophically, some more consciously or acutely than others. All of this is very informative, written is readable prose, easily blending sociology, history, and political science.

Part 3 (“Nations and the World: Crises Underway”) started to lose me a bit. Diamond deals with three current/looking crises – democracy faltering in the United States; Japan’s looming demographic apocalypse; and global warming for the planet as a whole – trying to apply the lessons and framework from the previous chapters. But even when I didn’t disagree with Diamond’s assessment (and indeed, I agreed with most all of it), his arguments are presented very sweepingly, asserting controversial positions as facts and spending very little time building up the foundations for his theses. His assessment of the problems the United States is currently facing (heavily derivative of Robert D. Putnam’s “bowling alone” thesis) starts to feel like a grouchy diatribe by the end, as he lists all the ways civic virtue is declining, people are becoming ruder, and the Internet is destroying interpersonal connections in a laundry-list fashion. When he makes sweeping claims as to the underlying causes of problems in international affairs – NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, or Japan’s shoddy relations with China and South Korea – I would very much have appreciated a little more time spent defending those positions.

Which ties into my other major complaint – sourcing. In the “Further Reading” section Diamond claims that most people didn’t find the online bibliography of The World Until Yesterday useful, and thus doesn’t provide one for this book. As someone who religiously reads the bibliographies this annoys me on a level below my ability to fully articulate. The complete absence of any in-text citations (I’d have loved footnotes, but there aren’t even endnotes) is definitely disappointing, particularly when Diamond explicitly states that he’s referring to some study or another. And more than once, the entire book starts to feel just a little dangerously anecdotal. If you take a shot every time something is explained as ‘according to an unnamed friend of mine who lived there’ your liver will fail well before you reach the Acknowledgements. In a few cases these firsthand anecdotes are genuinely informative, such as explaining how Chileans in the 1960s thought a military dictatorship was fundamentally unthinkable, only to have Pinochet sprung on them (caution to you Yanks). In other cases - such as when he conveys a friend’s anecdote about two Japanese youths struggling to talk to each other on their first date as part of a broader argument about demographic trends – it just feels like he’s repeating stories that support his points. While I don’t even really doubt most of the arguments Diamond is making, the way they were presented started to irk me.

Overall a solid book – particularly chapters 2 – 7 – but not as strong as his earlier works. It’s about 500 pages cover-to-cover, but quite readable, with basically no academic jargon. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
Upheaval enlightens you by telling the stories of seven countries that fell into crises, including how they got there and what they did to get out, and identifies the common threads between all of them. ( )
  aminuddinshroff | Oct 17, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 16 (næste | vis alle)
Jared Diamond is back, now with the final installment of what his publisher describes as his “monumental trilogy.” Where Collapse explored places that failed, the new volume, Upheaval, asks about those that survived. It takes Diamond far from the sorts of societies where he’s felt most alive: the closed-off tribes, the “Stone Age” peoples. Upheaval examines such large countries as the United States, Finland, Japan, and Chile, and mainly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Through them, Diamond hopes to show how nations have made it through destabilizing crises. But what we see instead is how poorly suited his approach—honed on nonindustrial and isolated societies—is for large, connected ones in an age of globalization.
 
Sometimes the book feels written from a drying well of lifelong research rather than from the latest facts. For example, Diamond tells us Americans have always been a highly mobile people and are “unlikely” to “move less often.” He must be unfamiliar with the rather well-publicized new data declaring the opposite: “Fewer Americans Are Moving to Pursue Better Jobs Across the Nation,” NPR says, citing the Census Bureau’s research that the number of Americans who move in a given year has dropped by half since the 1940s.

There are far more of these errors than I have space to list, too many to dismiss this calling-out as nit-picking. And they matter because of the book’s nature. If we can’t trust you on the little and medium things, how can we trust you where authors of 30,000-foot books really need our trust — on the big, hard-to-check claims?
 

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In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steeland Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile - through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether 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? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond's work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.

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