The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World

Regular price $ 19.95

by Linsey McGoey

Zed Books

11/15/2019, paperback

SKU: 9781780326351


Why have so few companies or people been held responsible for the catastrophic effects of the global financial crisis? Why are there repeated controversies over the safety of some of the world's bestselling pharmaceuticals?

Unpacking a range of high profile examples--from the 2016 US presidential elections to the scandals surrounding News International--Linsey McGoey reveals how ignorance is more than just an absence of knowledge, but a useful tool in political and economic life. She explores how financial and political elites have become highly adept at harnessing ignorance for their own ends: strategically minimizing their responsibility and passing blame onto others. And how, in a "post-truth" era in which the average citizen is derided for knowing too little, it is the rich and powerful who benefit from ignorance most.

Exploring the influence of the "known unknowns," shines a light on how elite ignorance is transforming all of our daily lives.


Linsey McGoey is a faculty member at the University of Essex. She is the author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift and coeditor of the Routledge Handbook of Ignorance Studies, and she has written for the Guardian, Times, Spectator, Jacobin, and Fortune.