The Fifth Risk

Michael Lewis comes off more opinionated in The Fifth Risk, than in his other books. He directs his pointed criticism at the transfer of power from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, namely the failure of the Trump administration to do anything to facilitate the transfer of power.

“Fuck the law. I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money.

– A supposed quote from Donald Trump

I question the accuracy of all the direct quotes, seeing as Lewis wasn’t there to hear them, but rather heard them through another source. These sources often times had good reason to being upset with the current administration, some were fired, others humiliated, or arrested. This could lead them to say things to slander the Trump administration regardless of whether or not they are true. If some people will lie under oath, what makes you think they won’t lie to an author? I can see how some people who hate President Trump may get off on this type of thing, but it didn’t do the trick for me.

The most interesting parts of this book are where Lewis gets into the different departments of government that most of us know little about. If I asked you what the Department of Commerce does, what would you say? Would you tell me that they regulate commerce? They don’t. In fact, the DOC is forbidden from doing any type of business. In addition to conducting the census every ten years, half their annual budget goes to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to figure out what the weather will do and how to predict it. This book uses individual examples of exemplary government employees who go unnoticed and unappreciated to educate us on the crucial role the government plays in all our lives.

On balance, I am lukewarm about recommending this book because I don’t think it’s for everyone. I think for those with an interest in government, how its different departments function, and how the transfer of power between presidents interferes with their function, it’s a good read. Also–for those willing to take the quotes as fact–if you have a distain for the current administration this book will bolster your views.

Max Bertman

About the author

Education shouldn't stop the second we finish school. Follow along as I continue my education through reading an hour or two a day. In my book reviews, I will try give a broad summary of the topics covered. I will also begin a discussion on some of the things that peak my interest. Continue the discussion with me in the comments. If you click the book reviews tab you will find all the reviews I have written and what I am currently reading; pick up a book and become smarter with me.


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