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Jared Diamond talks to Nick Spencer about Upheaval: How nations cope with crisis and change

20 June 2019

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The fashion for big history - books that no only survey the rise and fall of humans and their societies, but also try to discern some order from within the chaos - has grown a great deal in recent years. Names like Niall Ferguson, Yuval Noah Harari, Francis Fukuyama, and Peter Frankopan are widely known and respected.

But, before them all, in the 1990s, Jared Diamond was publishing books that married biology, anthropology, ecology, linguistics, and history, and really set the pattern for the genre.

The Pulitzer-prize-winning author’s latest book, Upheaval: How nations cope with crisis and change (Penguin), explores how seven countries – Finland, Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Germany, Australia, and the United States – have managed to cope with major crises in their history.

Nick Spencer spoke to Jared Diamond about the book during a recent visit to London – the same day, as it happened, that President Trump was in town.

Upheaval: How nations cope with crisis and change is published by Penguin at £14.99.

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