Environmental disasters. Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity. Economic failure. Is this the world's inevitable fate, a downward spiral that ultimately spells the collapse of societies? Perhaps, says acclaimed author Thomas Homer-Dixon - or perhaps these crises can actually lead to renewal for ourselves and planet earth.
The Upside of Down takes the reader on a mind-stretching tour of societies' management, or mismanagement, of disasters over time. From the demise of ancient Rome to contemporary climate change, this spellbinding book analyzes what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls "synchronous failure." But, crisis doesn't have to mean total global calamity. Through catagenesis, or creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to reinvent our future.
Drawing on the worlds of archeology, poetry, politics, science, and economics, The Upside of Down is certain to provoke controversy and stir imaginations across the globe. The author's wide-ranging expertise makes his insights and proposals particularly acute, as people of all nations try to grapple with how we can survive tomorrow's inevitable shocks to our global system. There is no guarantee of success, but there are ways to begin thinking about a better world, and The Upside of Down is the ideal place to start thinking.
"Thomas Homer-Dixon [is] one of the best-in-formed and most brilliant writers on global affairs today." - THE GUARDIAN "Homer-Dixon succeeds admirably...in explaining exactly why modern stresses are so worrisome and the outcome that neglect could cause." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Anyone who wants to get serious about the defense of civilization had better read The Upside of Down." - JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER, AUTHOR OF THE LONG EMERGENCY AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF NOWHERE "For over a decade, Thomas Homer-Dixon has provided that rare thing: a bridge between leading-edge research and the lay reader." - ROBERT D. KAPLAN, AUTHOR OF IMPERIAL GRUNTS AND BALKAN GHOSTS"