Human beings, it seems safe to say, are irredeemably selfish, greedy, short-sighted and prone to mass delusion. Time and again throughout history, business and society have been blindsided by people’s irrational and unpredictable behaviour. More often than we would care to admit, we look back on a disastrous set of events and think: How could that happen? How could we have been so stupid? Why, for goodness sake, didn’t we see that coming?

Blindsided takes a compelling look at the outbreak of some of the most dramatic crises of recent times: from the dot-com Bubble to the Credit Crunch, from the Spanish Flu epidemic to the Dust Bowl, from the collapse of Enron to countless rushes, riots and revolutions. In every case, what we believed to be rational decisions made by us — supposedly enlightened investors, consumers, planners and citizens — turned out to be flawed and gravely mistaken.

Blindsided: How business and society are shaped by our irrational and unpredictable behaviour