We don't like to think about disasters, but in this important book, Kayyem argues that we must. From her extensive experience managing disasters, Kayyem urges a new approach to disaster planning. In particular, we must recognize that disasters are inevitable, even if we don't know which ones will occur. With that certainty that bad things will happen, Kayyem urges a focus on post-disaster response and the common elements that can save lives.
Well written and argued, this book is highly recommended.— Mike
An urgent, transformative guide to dealing with disasters from one of today’s foremost thinkers in crisis management.
The future may still be unpredictable, but nowadays, disasters are not. We live in a time of constant, consistent catastrophe, where things more often go wrong than they go right. So why do we still fumble when disaster hits? Why are we always one step behind?
In The Devil Never Sleeps, Juliette Kayyem lays the groundwork for a new approach to dealing with disasters. Presenting the basic themes of crisis management, Kayyem amends the principles we rely on far too easily. Instead, she offers us a new framework to anticipate the “devil’s” inevitable return, highlighting the leadership deficiencies we need to overcome and the forward thinking we need to harness. It’s no longer about preventing a disaster from occurring, but learning how to use the tools at our disposal to minimize the consequences when it does.
Filled with personal anecdotes and real-life examples from natural disasters like the California wildfires to man-made ones like the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, The Devil Never Sleeps is a guide for governments, businesses, and individuals alike on how to alter our thinking so that we can develop effective strategies in the face of perpetual catastrophe.
About the Author
Juliette Kayyem is the Robert and Renee Belfer Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she is faculty director of the Homeland Security Project and the Security and Global Health Project. She has spent over twenty years managing complex policy initiatives and organizing government responses to major crises in both state and federal government. She is a regular contributor to the Atlantic magazine, and a commentator on CNN.
“Kayyem combines real-world national security experience, the everyday personal experiences of an individual, and the genius of a policy thinker for her compelling and engaging new book. Virtually anything Kayyem writes is a must-read and she has put it all together to help us prepare for our era of disasters.”—Jeh Johnson, former secretary of homeland security
“From 9/11 through the pandemic, the United States has been battered by several decades of emergencies. Even more, and worse, are ahead. Juliette Kayyem has a clear-eyed, sane, urgent-but-not-frantic set of principles to guide us in dealing with ‘the devil.’ We’ll all be better off for following her advice.”—James Fallows, National Book Award winner
“Juliette Kayyem is who we call when disaster strikes for a reason: she’s calm, unafraid, and deeply informed. Here she leaves no disaster unturned as she shows how we can be ready to respond. She’ll open your eyes: you’ll definitely never think of Fukushima, fires, or even Beyoncé the same way again.”—Erin Burnett, CNN anchor
“Juliette Kayyem’s infectious energy and passion for reasoned crisis management jump out of the pages of her book. She has written a succinct, compelling kitchen-table tutorial on how to get your head around crises. A must-read for first responders, crisis managers, and the normal citizen who wants to anticipate, prepare, cope, and be resilient.”—James Clapper, former national intelligence director
“We live in a dangerous world where big trouble is inevitable. Oddly, those who warn us to be better prepared are often dismissed. But Juliette Kayyem refuses to be a modern-day Cassandra. Get your head around this book and get smart. Or ignore her lessons at your own peril.”—Miles O’ Brien, correspondent, PBS Newshour
“An eye-opening look at the disasters that have troubled humans throughout history—and why they seem to be increasing in frequency… An urgent, useful survival manual for our time.”—Kirkus
“Full of practical advice and incisive analysis, this is an astute and timely road map for mitigating the consequences of the next cataclysm.”—Publishers Weekly
“In a world marred by preventable miscalculation, Juliette Kayyem’s ‘The Devil Never Sleeps’ provides a playbook for making it out alive.”—Paige Williams, The New Yorker