Michael Lewis’s, The Fifth Risk looks like a book — it has hard covers, chapters, acknowledgments and the rest — but it reads like a love letter. It is a love letter to underappreciated people and old-fashioned notions, and to underappreciated people holding fast to old-fashioned notions. With Trump-era politics turning Washington into Crazytown, Lewis has written a countercultural, almost subversive, book: one that praises the intellectual curiosity, dedication, foresight and sense of mission he finds among America’s federal workers ... The Fifth Risk challenges us to expect and appreciate those qualities at the highest levels of our federal workforce. Better yet, to demand them.
From its beginning to its final line ('It’s what you fail to imagine that kills you'), Michael Lewis reveals so much, and writes so insightfully, as he tackles what would seem to be the most mundane of his many magnificent investigations. The federal bureaucracy? But, instead of dull and wonkish, his new book is a spellbinding, alarming analysis of the most serious threats to Americans’ safety happening now from inside the U.S. government. And, Lewis nails the most catastrophic threat to your continued existence ... The book is a brilliant indictment of Trump and his appointees’ foolhardy ignorance of what federal agencies actually do and how.
Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk ... does something both brave and highly intelligent: it looks at Trump not straight but crooked. He is hardly in the book at all and yet it tells us...about the long-term damage he is doing ... Lewis points toward a much deeper assault on government itself ... The Fifth Risk is a passionate, even earnest, book about people who have worked as public servants for the federal government and the things they worry about. But it is also a challenge to think about not who Trump is but what he is doing, to see how, in some important respects, the phrase 'the Trump administration' is an oxymoron ... In drawing attention to what public service is and how it is being abused, Michael Lewis has himself done the public a considerable service.