The Upside of Down
Catastrophe, creativity, and the renewal of civilisation.
“An extraordinarily important book. If you read only one book this year about the end of civilisation, let this be it.”
‘Quill & Quire’
“One of the best-informed and most brilliant writers on global affairs today.”
“A wake-up call for millions feeling overwhelmed by an unrelieved diet of disaster.”
“If there is to be much hope for this world, then Thomas Homer-Dixon has soon to become a household name… The book has been impeccably researched… Perhaps Homer-Dixon’s greatest achievement is to have made his analysis accessible to all readers, whether light green or deep ecologist. The Upside of Down has the pace of a thriller and is poetic, philosophical and poetical by turn. Required writing.”
“By applying the concept of ‘full catastrophe living’ to the crises of population, energy, environment, climate and economy, we can create an opportunity for positive change.”
“Thomas Homer-Dixon takes a pessimistic view of the prospects for a world beset by population, energy, environmental, climate and economic stress. Globalisation has multiplied the impact of all of these, making us vulnerable to any sudden shock.”
The world is on the verge of collapse but, perhaps, breakdown can create opportunities for the bold reform of our society and open up a way for the renewal of planet Earth. Taking a journey from the collapse of the Roman empire to the devastation of the 9/11 attacks, Thomas Homer-Dixon shows how to choose a better route into the future. Drawing on an astonishing array of disciplines, from archaeology and poetry to politics, science and economics Homer-Dixon’s acute insights are imaginative and controversial.
The first signs of global breakdown are already appearing: in the thawing wastelands of the Arctic, the volatile politics of the Middle East and the favelas of Brazil. The world is becoming perilous but as Homer-Dixon makes clear, an understanding of the emerging and complex systems of our world means that a catastrophic collapse on the scale of the Roman empire can still be avoided.
There are ways to begin thinking about a better world, and The Upside of Down is the place to begin thinking.