Amanda Ripley

The Unthinkable
  • The Unthinkable

  • Amanda Ripley

    It was 8.46 a.m. on 9/11 when Elia Zedeño, who had worked in the World Trade Center for twenty-one years, heard a booming explosion and felt the building lurch violently to the south. She grabbed her desk, taking her feet off the floor, and screamed, 'What's happening?'

    How would you react to a disaster? Would you be paralysed with fear? Would you panic and lose control? Or might you suddenly discover hidden strengths in yourself?

    In The Unthinkable, award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates some of the most harrowing catastrophes in history in order to piece together exactly how we react in a crisis. Through compelling interviews with survivors and experts she uncovers our instinctive reactions, shows how primitive parts of our brains take over when we're put under pressure, and demonstrates that we can, in fact, train ourselves to do better.

    We all have a 'disaster personality' that reveals itself at moments of crisis. In The Unthinkable you can become acquainted with yours.Who knows? One day, understanding how it works may save your life.

Amanda Ripley, longtime staff writer for Time, has been extensively involved in the magazine's 'Person of the Year' cover stories and now covers homeland security and risk from Washington, DC. Her disaster reporting recently helped Time win two National Magazine Awards.