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  • Upheaval

  • Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Henry Strozier
  • Length: 18 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Upheaval

By: Jared Diamond
Narrated by: Henry Strozier
Free with 2 month trial

AUD $16.45/mo after 2 months. Renews automatically. Cancel anytime.

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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant new theory of how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't, by the author of the landmark best sellers Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse

In his earlier best sellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in the final audiobook in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis through selective change - a coping mechanism more commonly associated with personal trauma. 

In a dazzling comparative study, Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from US Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan to the Soviet invasion of Finland to Pinochet's regime in Chile - through a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation, and he identifies patterns in the way that these distinct nations recovered from calamity. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the US and the world are squandering their natural advantages on a path toward political conflict and decline. Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? 

Adding a psychological dimension to 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 an audiobook that is epic, urgent, and groundbreaking.

©2019 Jared Diamond (P)2019 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Upheaval

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good historical survey

Interesting history lesson to broaden one’s exposure and ponder the future. If new to Diamond, best to read G,G&S or 3rd Chimp before. They are much better. The narrator mispronounced a few things which a good producer should have noticed. Especially « Pinochet ». A bit long and repetitive, best enjoyed at 1.25x.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great ideas in unnecessarily talkative book

The history described in this book is astonishing and I had no idea those events happened. the current crises are very thought provoking. the format of the book is hard to digest and unnecessarily talkative. And the audiobook is not easy to digest. eg it reads table and then references it the whole book

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Important book yet told in too many details

I love Gerard Diamond’s books. Guns germs AB has steel was a real life changer for me and Collapse was delightfully fascinating. This book isn’t bad but is somewhat written more like a scientific paper than a non fiction book. At times the scope is too much e.g a lengthy chapter about climate change. It’s definitely important but should have been left out of scope. Also there are frequent references to tables yet no PDF with details is available. I had to find the physical book in a shop, take photos of the table and keep them on my phone for reference. Still a worthy book with an interesting point of view.

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2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

A dry history book

Disclaimer: I didn’t finish it. I was really looking forward to it because Guns Germs and Steel blew my mind, and Collapse was also excellent.

I even had to check that it was same Jarred Diamond.

This was very different and painfully boring in the way I find war history painfully boring.

I may have gotten more out of it if I gave it my full attention but for what it’s worth, I wasn’t inspired to continue.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting perspectives

I liked the authors effort to apply crisis management steps used by people towards crisis that have occurred in his selected countries.

It was interesting to consider Australia being in Upheaval. The author gave me some new perspectives on my home country due to his approach.

PS - thx for the recommendation Bill;-)

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    3 out of 5 stars

I felt like I was sitting in a University lecture

I have read some of the authors prior books which led me to this one. Sadly the content of this one was not as compelling and it’s delivery on Audible disappointing.
As for the content I found a number of the chapters felt dated and some of the narrative and conclusions shallow. In a couple of cases (Australia and Japan) the conclusions and opinions were also questionable.
But what I found most difficult with this book was it is not well suited for Audible. It has the pace and complex contents and details of a University text book and frankly was very difficult to listen to. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in traditional sense (hard copy).

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent recent time review

Having read some of the author's previous books like Collapse, it was great to see more analysis of recent times national crises. Found the analysis very interesting. The analysis on US democracy is particular relevant today as we see it unfold.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring reminiscences of an old man

To be fair, I only managed to get two or three chapters in. I’m really disappointed.
I wanted to learn about social upheaval but this was talking about how the author went to Finland as a young student and learned the language and now here is a list of Finnish words and blah blah.
If it was in printed form I could easily skip the boring parts and try to find something relevant. In audio form this was a waste of my time.
A shame as many of the authors other books are very good.
I’ll be trying to return this book.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Dull and repetitive

The text is gratingly repetitive. I was not able to move past the first chapter.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Analysis but a bit dry

To anyone unfamiliar with Jared Diamond's work the prologue and initial workup in this audiobook would be very off-putting. Diamond does not write in an entertaining style but his arguments are interesting. I found his descriptions of the national crises of Finland, Chile and Indonesia to be very interesting particularly Finland and the concept of Finlandization in light of Russia's relationship with another close neighbour Ukraine! Diamond tries to argue there are common threads to how a nation responds to crisis. To some extent this may be true. Although not discussed in this book was not Switzerlands neutrality in world war 2 similar to Finlands post-war neutrality. However every country is unique and how a country reacts in a time of crisis must be seen in light of the wider geopolitical situation and the power of that country to determine its own destiny. For example Chiles situation in the 1970s was determined by the politics of the cold war at the time, and the determination of the US not to have anything resembling another Cuba in the Americas at the time. Diamonds list of factors relating to outcomes of a national crisis to be weak at best which is probably why no African nation is included in this work. Weak government as a result of poor institutional development as so eloquently described in the much superior work "Why Nations Fail" by Darren Acemoglu and James Robinson takes into account historical development of a nation which is pretty much ignored by Diamond.
In summary interesting case discussions but his central argument that there are common factors in how a nation responds to a crisis is weak, even weaker is that individual crises can be compared to national crises.
An interesting book but a bit too academic for the casual reader.

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