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Publisher's Summary

Instead of trying to predict "Black Swan" events such as coups or crises, forecasters should look at how political systems handle disorder. The best indicator of a country's future trajectory is not a lengthy past stability, but recent moderate volatility.

©2015 Foreign Affairs (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Calm Before the Storm

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Philo
  • 23-03-2015

Fine Taleb, but repeats some themes in other books

If you are widely read in Taleb's work, there are few surprises here. I pretty avidly snap up whatever he writes, but I had seen such things as his praise of city-states elsewhere. There seems a slight advance in his mapping of fragilities on a wider scale, compared with his prior works.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Salim Nasser
  • 03-04-2021

Susinct, ensightful and enlightening

Loved it. It gives practical perspective in terms of anti fragility. Gave me hope for the future, in particular Lebanon. Nassim Taleb rocks!

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  • Z_izm
  • 05-03-2017

Great

I loved it. Very well explained. Nassim at his best with risk on a global scale

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  • Hakan
  • 19-03-2016

needs to be improved

too brief to be true..
And most importantly,Taleb seems to forget to add the 'main element' to the equation of antifragility....
which is also the centeral idea of 'fololed by randomness':
The luck.
Aut of domain dependance I guess...

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  • Richard
  • 18-10-2015

Extremely Refreshing

I am 62 years old and find amazing wonder in listening how these two author's address the world outside the box. They awaken my beginners mind. Truly exciting! Engaging!

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  • Leo
  • 16-07-2015

Very good

Taleb again pointing the economy's wounds. Hopefully authorities will listen and act. Please five this material to authorities.

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  • Patrick
  • 29-03-2015

Plausible theories as to why some regimes fail

Would you listen to The Calm Before the Storm again? Why?

no. got it all in the first listening.

What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I can do other things while listening i.e. the ironing ;)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, it is only 30min

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  • Jason
  • 19-02-2015

Short but very worthwhile

Enjoyed very much the claim that centralization serves to create less bumps in the road, while unfortunately also serving to make the fewer bumps far more extreme than would otherwise be. Also, a country that creates neighbors versus roommates will better serve society and all people groups.

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  • LC
  • 26-12-2021

Interesting little essay

I found it interesting and educational as it helped me see things a different way in terms of relative stability of countries, and their ability to deal with major incidents. Thought provoking.

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  • R. Grindley
  • 11-11-2021

Interesting & thought provoking

Interesting and well narrated. Highly recommended listen for anyone curious, wanting an overview of the proposed mechanisms of political and economic fragility with examples discussed

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  • Mr
  • 13-10-2017

Worth a listen.

Taleb's signature brand of thought-provoking contrarianism, this time focused on dissecting conventional notions of what constitutes stability and instability.

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  • Ms
  • 02-08-2016

Another piece of the puzzle

Clear & concise. I will definitely be looking further into Nassim's works. This offers a good starting point. These are strange & confusing times to be alive & while I am a pacifist at heart, it can make it difficult to understand the nature of growth in society from perspectives outside of this point of view. Nassim's perspectives from historical tendencies & philosophical nature offer a much welcomed way of grasping concepts that all too often feel too large (for me) to understand.

It's a port in a storm & I shall definitely be exploring the territory of his works for furthering my investigations. I believe it's better to be informed that a person can make an executive decision, regardless of where the decision takes you. This is a synopsis & therefore won't give you answers to life, the universe & everything, but offers some useful tidbits that encourages further research. At the very least, it's helping me feel less like I'm being swept along with the tide.

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  • Purhvi
  • 19-02-2015

Good short story

It's a good overview of economic fragility of countries but it is brief and does not go in depth for risk

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