Environmental disasters. Terrorist wars. Energy scarcity. Ecomic 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 our planet. 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 analyses what happens when multiple crises compound to cause what the author calls 'synchrous failure'. But, crisis doesn't have to mean total global calamity. Through creative, bold reform in the wake of breakdown, it is possible to reinvent our future.