On today's episode we're joined by the polymathic writer Jared Diamond for a conversation about his new book Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change. Diamond is a professor of geography at UCLA, and the author of bestsellers including Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail and Succeed and The World Until Yesterday. Diamond began his academic career in the field of physiology, studying the biology of membranes, but he went on to author studies in ecology and ornithology, specializing in the birds of New Guinea. But it's in his third career — studying environmental history and the forces that shape human societies — that has brought him worldwide attention. He joined us in the studio for an talk about his new book, which takes a novel approach to the question of how modern countries have faced moments of identity crisis — and what brought them through to the other side.