Fully revised and updated since its first publication in 2011 to encompass further appalling instances of wilful blindness: Grenfell Tower, Carillion, Harvey Weinstein, Windrush and many more
‘Entertaining and compellingly argued’ Sunday Times ‘A tour de force of brilliant insights’ Philip Zimbardo ‘A polemic against the dangers of docility and "groupthink" in every walk of life' Books of the Year, Financial Times ‘Writing in clear, flowing prose, Heffernan draws on psychological and neurological studies and interviews with executives, whistleblowers and white-collar criminals' New York Times 'An engaging read, packed with cautionary tales ... Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image – and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness' Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind?
Why, after every major accident and blunder, do we look back and ask, how could we have been so blind? Why do some people see what others don't? And how can we change? Drawing on studies by psychologists and neuroscientists, and from interviews with business leaders, whistle blowers and white collar criminals, distinguished businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan examines the phenomenon of wilful blindness, exploring the reasons that individuals and groups are blind to impending personal tragedies, corporate collapses, engineering failures – even crimes against humanity.
We turn a blind eye in order to feel safe, to avoid conflict, to reduce anxiety and to protect prestige. It makes us feel good at first, with consequences we don’t see. But greater understanding leads to solutions, and Heffernan shows how – by challenging our biases, encouraging debate, discouraging conformity, and not backing away from difficult or complicated problems – we can be more mindful of what's going on around us and be proactive instead of reactive.
Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, chief executive, and author. She was born in Texas, raised in Holland, and educated at Cambridge University. She worked for the BBC and developed interactive multimedia products with Peter Lynch, Tom Peters, Standard & Poors, and The Learning Company. She has served as Chief Executive Officer for InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation, and iCAST Corporation. The author of Beyond Measure, Willful Blindness, and A Bigger Prize, among others, she blogs for the Huffington Post, CBS Moneywatch, and Inc.com.
'Heffernan presents a readable analysis of the way powerful and intelligent people deliberately set aside crucial facts and turn a blind eye to fatal errors and frauds. A polemic against the dangers of docility and "groupthink" in every walk of life, it was another finalist for Business Book of the Year.'
– Books of the Year, Financial Times
'Writing in clear, flowing prose, (Heffernan) draws on psychological and neurological studies and interviews with executives, whistleblowers and white-collar criminals...the book made me think long and hard about how the pace and priorities of our daily lives can hinder our ability to live as decently and as truthfully as we can.'
– New York Times
'An engaging read, packed with cautionary tales...Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image - and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness.'
– Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
'Willful Blindness is a remarkable book...It is a tour de force of brilliant insights, broad span applications and written in the most engaging style.'
– Philip Zimbardo
'Uniquely broad in scope, insightfully analyzed, and engagingly written. This in-depth look at willful blindness is an excellent read.'
– Albert Bandura
'Entertaining and compellingly argued book.'
– Sunday Times Supplement
'Heffernan's cogent, riveting look at how we behave at our worst encourages us to strive for our best.'
– US Publishers' Weekly
‘My eyes are now open to the many ways we all choose not to see reality even when it is painfully obvious. Why do we choose to turn a blind eye to the truth? . . . Heffernan clearly asks the important questions about why we delude ourselves.’
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.
More books from this author: Margaret Heffernan
Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover!
Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love.