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The Fifth Risk (MP3 CD)

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This IS NOT just another book bemoaning the Trump presidency, the ignorance, the terror. Actually, it is far more about the thousands of unsung heroes in government, the ones who try to keep us safe from disease, natural disasters, unsafe foods, and the seemingly insatiable greed of the few. By bringing attention to specific people and their departments, what they have accomplished during their time in government work, Lewis illuminates the incredibly important role of government in our lives and shows the danger and arrogance of focusing on mistakes when so much depends on what our government gets right. Mind you, the current administration's complete ignorance of what government does for the people and its collusion with special interests who just want to profit off taxpayer information is a key element in this, but it is overshadowed by the immense dedication of civil servants. Just Mercy made me want to go back to school and get a law degree; The Fifth Risk makes me want to work in government.

— Linda


What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

"The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.

Michael Lewis' 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 gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it's better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes - unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system - those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.

Please note: Included with The Fifth Risk is the entirety of The Coming Storm, the Audible Original story of two scientists who revolutionized climate predictions, bringing warning systems to previously unimaginable levels of accuracy. Michael Lewis uncovers the potential cost of putting a price tag on life-saving information.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781721372935
ISBN-10: 1721372938
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance
Publication Date: December 18th, 2018
Language: English