The Fifth Risk

Hardcover, 221 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2018 by W. W. Norton & Company.

OCLC Number:

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5 stars (6 reviews)

Michael Lewis's brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it's not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gain without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing the cost. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it's better never to understand those problems. There is an upside to ignorance, and a downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a …

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  • Politics and government
  • Civil service
  • Management
  • Administrative agencies
  • Public administration
  • Government executives


  • United States