The World's Deadliest Storm was Just the Beginning...
Fifty years ago, the Great Bhola Cyclone slammed into then-East Pakistan, a low-lying province about the size of Greece bordered by India and Myanmar. The megastorm hit at midnight during a full moon, generating a ten meter-high wall of water that inundated the world’s largest river delta and everyone living in it. The cyclone killed 500,000 people on landfall, sparked a genocide, triggered a civil war and almost brought the USA and Soviet Union into nuclear conflict.
The Vortex tells the incredible true story of an unmitigated natural disaster that changed the world order. We tell it through the eyes of its victims, villains and heroes. This is not just a story about the painful birth of a new nation, but a universal tale of resilience and liberation in the face of a threat that affects every single person on the planet.
There has never been a more urgent time to show how climate, politics, and war coalesce to bring devastating human fallout. The Vortex weaves these connections together to present a deeply personal, suspenseful account of Bhola’s global impact - and to warn how we are doomed to repeat its mistakes if we don’t learn its lessons.
Available for order here, paperback publication date 25 March, 2023.
“Carney and Miklian reveal a long-concealed and profoundly shocking confluence of geopolitical crimes and crises…With propulsive narrative drive and intense specificity, the authors circle among a cast of riveting real-life characters…Deeply involving and harrowing, this commanding work of reclaimed and clarified history is of urgent relevance.” — Booklist (Starred Review)
“(Carney and Miklian) effectively translate their exhaustive research into a compelling narrative, cleverly alternating chapters among the perspectives of a diverse range of protagonists. To those who may feel complacent about what happened a half-century ago in a relatively obscure part of the world, Carney and Miklian deliver a stark warning….A powerful, timely exploration of an environmental and political tragedy.” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“In this absorbing chronicle, (Carney and Miklian) deliver an essential history of the infuriatingly tragic creation of Bangladesh amid a devastating storm, genocide, war, political intrigue, and hope.” — Library Journal (Starred Review) “Shot through with colorful character sketches and lucid explanations of South Asian politics, this is an urgent warning about the links between global warming and geopolitical turmoil” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Scott Carney and Jason Miklian take us on a riveting journey into the deadliest storm ever…The Vortex (is) an urgent wake-up call for our shared global future.” — Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University
“A tsunami of a book..told through the stories of people who were right there on its frontlines, (who) get the high-octane storytelling they deserve in The Vortex.” — Prof. Naomi Hossain, American University “This book makes you feel like you're living through the traumatic birth of Bangladesh…An epic tale indeed!” — Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist, and Co-founder of 350.org
"An utterly gripping story of international political intrigue, natural disaster, and the consequences for millions as refracted through the experiences of the ordinary, powerless people." — Zia Haider Rahman, BBC presenter and author of In the Light of What We Know
“This is a rich tale of a terrible cyclone and the human folly that deepened the tragedy. Grippingly written, it is both a powerful history of the creation of modern Bangladesh and an urgent warning about our precarious common future on our rapidly heating planet.” — Gary J. Bass, author of The Blood Telegram
Teenage farmers turned insurgent fighters, East Pakistan, 1971. Photo credit: Suman Miatra
Crisis Proof is a book about how businesses and people can better manage the reality of crisis, and better anticipate the challenges and opportunities that socio-political strife presents. It does so by pulling back the curtain on how business works in the toughest situations on earth.
Readers go on a global tour of business, from rebel-held coffee plantations in the jungles of Colombia and a factory amidst the urban battlefields of Iraq to diamond-studded Dubai resorts and stately London corporate nerve centers. Over 10 chapters, we walk through experiences as varied as how Ebola-stricken Liberia could have helped Facebook stop a genocide and what a brewery in New York can learn to manage social media outrage from a Venezuelan motorcycle repair shop.
These lessons can be distilled into our book’s three key lessons: business needs what we call a social license to operate effectively, companies need to embrace their roles as political actors, and leaders need to create crisis-proof company cultures by integrating values that counter the roots of crises.
The Uncertainty Doctrine also shows why businesses outside of conflict zones need to care about the lessons they teach us. The book traces how corporate decisions impact local populations and the bottom line, map what can and does go wrong, and show how firms that successfully navigate these challenges are more successful everywhere else.
This book is also a wake-up call to corporate leaders who think they can stay above the fray of contentious political issues. Crisis Proof shows just how destructive this thinking can be. The question isn’t if a business will have to navigate through political and social issues, but when and how. These are not just questions about success - but about survival.
As academics with an insatiable curiosity for how the world really works, we have spent the last ten years studying businesses in some of the world’s worst war zones: Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Venezuela, Liberia, Myanmar, Iraq, Colombia, Sri Lanka, the Former Yugoslavia, Lebanon. What kind of lunatics do that? The kind who needed to know how companies could possibly survive those situations. The kind who realized that if they could uncover the secret to their success, they'd have a once-in-a-lifetime insight to share.
The solutions aren’t easy - there’s no win-win back-patting nonsense in these pages - but over the long term they pay off almost every time. The good news is that the ‘hard path’ also happens to be the one that’s best for society too.
Winter 2023, Cambridge University Press.
This book (co-authored and co-edited with John Katsos and Rina Alluri, Routledge) brings together thought leaders from business ethics, management, international relations, and peace and conflict studies to show how businesses can contribute to peacebuilding and sustainable development. It studies how the private sector can better deliver peace in violent conflict settings and better help the local communities that are presumed to be the beneficiaries of such actions. It is the first book to compile the state-of-the-field in one place and is an essential guide for students, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners on the role of business in peace.
"This volume is a very welcome contribution to the interdisciplinary theme of business, peace and development. With both theoretical and empirical...insights relevant to a range of audiences, including researchers, policy-makers, activists, managers, investors and staff of international (non-)governmental organizations. I hope it will draw further attention to this topic that is so important for business and society, and for local populations in particular."
Professor Ans Kolk, University of Amsterdam
"As this important book sets out, business "doing good" or avoiding doing harm, does not necessarily add up to peace. Business does not exist in a vacuum, but in an interlinked symbiosis with society, conditioned on trust and public confidence. ...As business seeks to adjust to the complexity, volatility and risks of conflicts deriving from the simultaneous acceleration of technology, globalization and climate change, we must bring the front lines of academic thinking and business together to inform mindsets and action that enhance peace. This book is an important contribution, demonstrating the need for system thinking, analysis, strategic engagement and a longer-term approach."
Per Saxegaard, Founder, Business for Peace Foundation
"Conducting business in a war situation puts the spotlight on the boundary between realism and idealism. This book is an intellectual tool for CEOs and investors facing armed conflict or situations where they can help prevent conflict.""
Carlos Joly, Co-Chair of Expert Group on the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and fellow, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership