Of course the job Trump’s tradition “team” did and did not not do was abominable, but the book focused on three narrow instances. Although these are likely microcosms of all the agencies experiences during the transition, other examples would have been more helpful rather than dedicating 1/3 of the book on the NOAA, despite the value of its data. The author lost me when he condemned the Ferguson police and referred to Michael Brown as an unarmed and innocent teenager. Showed explicit bias that cast doubt on every other assertion in the book, even though I have heard other evidence supporting the inept transition process. Meh book.
OK, we know the Trump administration is a clueless reality show, but I didn’t need to know that much about the inner workings of NOAA. Most of it a very boring read.
Mr. Lewis does it again. One of my favorite authors.
I am a democrat, but blaming the right for this level of complexity is absurd. One or two managers out of 100,000 do not matter a bit. Please check on how long it took prior administrations took to build cabinets. In short, a very thin book with biased and thinner arguments. Remember, I am the resistance!
when will intelligent people realize liberal governing elites care only about themselves? This is just another rant without an understanding that many many government posts are nothing but patronage.
BBALL coach 22
Full of interesting anecdotes and Lewis’ energetic style. And quite revealing as to Trump’s approach to transition (there wasn’t any) and some key appointees (figureheads at best). Many cabinet positions and departments were not addressed. And ones that were...maybe more on what might be the long term impact of the ignorance in DC. Entertaining and fast, but wanted more.
S in Austin
Another insightful book from Michael Lewis. He took what most of us would consider a boring subject and made it interesting. Americans should be happy with the government we have. Too many of us have succumbed to the propoganda of idealogues.
Yawn. Another boring Trump is so dumb, and the people who support him—ugh, so gross! Whereas, the eternally employed, never fired, bureaucrats who staff the behemoth that represents the modern state? Wow, they’re so great. And handsome/beautiful. And smart.
Not once, not on any page of this book does the author take a step back and ask pertinent questions about the alleged horrors he imagines are assaulting the great, hulking edifice of the U.S. government. Why, for example, are there not enough appointees? (Answer: because the great bureaucratic behemoth purposely withholds necessary clearances, and those who make it past the post find themselves under constant harassment and bogus HR and Inspector General investigations.)
Why do appointees discard briefing materials? (Answer: they’re written by the permanent bureaucracy, to benefit the bureaucracy and its nefarious outside lobbyist cabal.)
Why are important programs being gutted? (Answer: because they aren’t important, are duplicated throughout the various departments of the U.S. Government, and waste untold billions of dollars on bureaucratic overhead.)
Why aren’t the experts listened to by the barbarians at the gate? (Answer: because those experts got us into two 20 year wars that never seem to end, and bailed out the wretched Wall Street banksters who have hallowed out the country, but who never have to pay the price for their gambling.)
All-in-all a boring, pedantic waste of time to make the author feel good about himself and his virtue. Yawn.
The Fifth Risk, the new book by Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Big Short), is a tour de force.
His main message is that our federal government does a lot of good things that we don’t understand or properly appreciate; and that we have a lot of smart, decent, mission driven people working in it. That’s 90% of his message. The other 10% pans the incoming Trump administration for being unwilling and unable to grasp this or manage it.
Leaving his politics aside, his stories about people and functions within relatively obscure agencies like Agriculture, Energy and Oceanic/Atmospheric are enlightening and breathtaking.
Surprising and revealing. Our government is actually a wonder - and I never knew. Seems the current Administration is happy to sit in the dark.
Best and lovely book ever