The Age of the Unthinkable:

Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

For decades, American foreign policy has been based on the seductive belief that there exists a logical relationship between power of states and the physics of change. And yet today policies designed to make us safer instead make the world more perilous. History’s grandest war against terrorism creates more terrorists. Global capitalism, intended to boost the quality of life of people around the world, increases the gap between rich and poor. Decisions taken to stem a financial crisis guarantee its arrival. Environmental techniques engineered to protect species lead to their extinction. Middle East peace plans produce less peace. Our world is not becoming more stable or flatter or easier to comprehend. And what we face isn’t one single shift, like the end of World War II or the collapse of the Soviet Union, so much as a revolutionary avalanche of ceaseless change.

Now, drawing upon history, economics, complexity theory, human immunology, psychology, and his own extraordinary experiences, Joshua Ramo puts forth a radical new model for looking at the world, one that embraces its inherent unpredictability—and offers our best hope for dealing with problems and disasters as they emerge.

Editorial Reviews

“Provocative…A stimulating volume.”

New York Times

“The formula on displays here—reported vignettes, grand theorizing, surprising juxtapositions—will be familiar to readers of Thomas L. Friedman and Malcolm Gladwell, and Ramo executes  it with verve.”

New York Times Book Review

“Ramo entertainingly examines subjects as diverse as fish ecology and Hezbollah guerrilla tactics.”

New Yorker

“A beacon for those who have been looking for straight talk about our current economic crisis and how you and I, everyday people, can move forward.”

San Francisco Examiner

“Elegantly written…Ramo’s analyses offer interesting lessons for executives, especially during a recession.”

BusinessWeek 

“Ramo’s cinematic narrative is breathless…His wake-up call has done us a service.”

Financial Times

Author Biography

Joshua Cooper Ramo is managing director and a partner at Kissinger Associates, one of the world’s leading strategic advisory firms. Prior to joining Kissinger Associates, he was assistant managing editor of Time and worked in the advisory and banking business in China. Trained as an economist, he holds degrees from the University of Chicago and New York University.

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Reader Biography

Joshua Cooper Ramo is managing director and a partner at Kissinger Associates, one of the world’s leading strategic advisory firms. Prior to joining Kissinger Associates, he was assistant managing editor of Time and worked in the advisory and banking business in China. Trained as an economist, he holds degrees from the University of Chicago and New York University.

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