Taleb Penguin, £8.99
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, By Nassim Nicholas
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 31 May 2013
Taleb, the trader-turned-thinker whose The Black Swan sniffed the global meltdown, is an invigorating mind.
His follow-up – seething, repetitious, ideas-packed – aims not merely to shockproof us against new, unforeseeable upheavals.
"Antifragility" will mean we profit from random black-swan blows in a volatile world. Taleb excels at heretical thought-bites: he's Nietzsche on Wall Street, not a rich man with a plan.
He can be vulgar, silly, vain. But one asks, about his core ideas, is he right, and does it matter? This reader's verdict? Yes, and yes.
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