Review of The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
Published: 2018
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A examination of the potential consequences of neglecting key government roles and programs

The Fifth Risk is a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of government and the challenges facing the United States in the 21st century. Written by bestselling author Michael Lewis, the book is a thought-provoking and highly insightful exploration of the various risks facing the government, with a particular focus on the Trump administration.
The book is structured around three main risks: the risk of ignorance, the risk of ideology, and the risk of incompetence. In the first section of the book, Lewis examines the risk of ignorance, discussing how the Trump administration showed little interest in understanding the inner workings of government agencies and how this lack of understanding could potentially lead to disastrous consequences. He discusses how the Trump administration neglected to properly transition into office, failing to appoint key personnel and failing to adequately prepare for the challenges and responsibilities of governing. This lack of preparation and understanding of government agencies and programs put critical functions at risk, including those related to national security, the economy, and public health.
The second section of the book focuses on the risk of ideology, exploring how the Trump administration's political ideologies led to the neglect of important government functions and the pursuit of policies that were not based on sound scientific or economic principles. Lewis discusses how the Trump administration prioritized its own political agenda over the needs and concerns of the American people, leading to the dismantling of important programs and the neglect of important issues such as climate change and global health.
The final section of the book discusses the risk of incompetence, examining how the Trump administration's failure to properly staff key government positions and its lack of a cohesive policy agenda led to chaos and confusion within the government. Lewis discusses how the Trump administration's lack of leadership and management skills resulted in a lack of direction and a lack of accountability, leading to a breakdown in communication and decision-making within the government.
Throughout the book, Lewis uses a range of examples, including the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce, to illustrate the various risks facing the government and the potential consequences of neglecting these risks. He also provides a detailed analysis of the Trump administration's policies and actions, and offers recommendations for how the government can address these risks and better serve the American people.
One of the standout aspects of The Fifth Risk is Lewis' ability to make complex issues accessible and understandable to a wide audience. He writes in a clear and engaging style, and his use of anecdotes and examples helps to bring the book's ideas to life. Additionally, the book is well-researched and thoroughly documented, making it a reliable and trustworthy source of information.
Overall, The Fifth Risk is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in government and public policy. It offers a unique perspective on the challenges facing the United States in the 21st century, and is sure to spark important conversations about the role of government in society. Whether you are a political junkie or simply someone who wants to better understand the inner workings of government, this book is sure to provide valuable insights and a deeper understanding of the risks facing our nation.

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