Why anti-lock brakes make us drive faster. Why saving money can lead to financial crises. How football helmets make the game more dangerous. Why letting forest fires burn can be safer than putting them out.
We have learned a staggering amount about human nature and disaster-yet we are continually unprepared for car crashes, floods, and financial crises. Partly this is because the very success we've had making life safer enables us to take more extreme, different risks. As our cities, transport systems, and financial markets become more interconnected and complex, so does the potential for disaster.
How do we stay safe? Should we? What if our attempts are exposing us even more to the very risks we are trying to avoid? What if acceptance of danger ultimately makes us more secure and prosperous? Is there such a thing as foolproof?
In this fascinating account of risk-taking and crisis, Greg Ip presents a macro theory of human nature and disaster that explains how we can keep ourselves safe in our increasingly dangerous world.
A powerful and original book on a vital subject - read it! - Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
Compelling - Financial Times
Drawing on a fascinating range of stories about forest fires and flood control, football helmets and anti-lock brakes, bank runs and epidemics, Foolproof is about the unintended and often very surprising consequences of our attempts to protect ourselves from disasters. Illuminating and entertaining, this book that will change the way you think about the world of risk. - Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance
Foolproof is the rare book you'll be thinking about long after you've turned the final page - Daniel H Pink, author of DRIVE