The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning To Live in an Age of Disasters

Hachette Audio. Mar. 2022. 6:34 hrs. ISBN 9781549192883. $25.98. BUS
Crisis-management expert Kayyem’s (Security Mom) guide to planning for and navigating disasters focuses on the central idea that disasters are not random aberrations, but are an inevitable part of human life. According to Kayyem, a national security analyst for CNN and a lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, “disasters and crises are not one-offs, random events, rare occurrences; they are standard operating procedure.” The key is not to bemoan the fact that disasters happen, but to prepare—and to keep preparing—for the next one, all the while learning from successes and failures. Kayyem’s guide, which details recent disasters, including the Boeing 737 Max crisis, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2011 tsunami, is sobering but not depressing. This is a call to action so that everyone can become a disaster manager and ensure that crises don’t become catastrophes. Kayyem’s narration of her own book is solid and clear. Listeners will easily follow her argument, but they may not be overly engaged by the matter-of-fact presentation.
VERDICT Kayyem’s timely and well-organized study is recommended for nonfiction collections, particularly those where interest in business, management, government, or the environment is high.
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