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The Upside of Down : Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization
Environmental disasters. Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity. Is this the world's fate, a downward spiral that ultimately spells the collapse of society? 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 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.
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November 01, 2006
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