Having assessed why nations rise and fall in the Pulitzer Prize winner Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond here explores how successful cultures recover from crises while adopting selective changes. Among the case studies are Japan, forcibly opened by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet; Finland, shaped by the Soviet Union's attack; and the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War II. Looking to the future, Diamond considers which nations are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face.
"The virtues of Diamond's storytelling shine through…. Let this experienced observer with an uncanny eye for the small details that reveal larger truths take you on an expedition around the world and through fascinating pivotal moments in seven countries."—Washington Post