Amanda Ripley is a New York Times bestselling author and an investigative journalist who writes about human behavior and change for the Atlantic, the Washington Post and other outlets. She is the author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, TheSmartest Kids in the World–and How They Got That Way and The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes, and Why, and she is the host of the Slate podcast How To!
High Conflict (2021) describes what happens when regular conflict distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the type with an “us” and a “them.” In this state, the brain behaves differently, and the normal rules do not apply. High Conflict chronicles the journey of people who were trapped in very different kinds of conflict, from the personal to the political, and then found their way out.
The Smartest Kids in the World follows three American teenagers who spent one year far from home, attending public high school in the countries with the strongest education systems in the world. A New York Times bestseller, it was published in 15 countries and chosen by The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Amazon as one of the most notable books of the year. The Smartest Kids in the World was also turned into a documentary film by the same name.
The Unthinkable chronicles the stories and wisdom of people who have survived disasters of all kinds–from hurricanes to terrorist attacks. It was published in 15 countries, turned into a PBS documentary and selected by Hudson Booksellers as one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the year.
Exclusively represented by BrightSight Speakers bureau, Amanda’s recent Atlantic stories include a piece about the movement to fix TV news and another about the least politically prejudiced town in America. She’s also been investigating what journalists can do to revive curiosity in a time of outrage, in cooperation with the Solutions Journalism Network. Earlier in her career, Amanda spent a decade writing about human behavior for Time Magazine in New York, Washington, and Paris. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Politico, The Guardian and The Times of London. Her stories helped Time win two National Magazine Awards.
To discuss her writing, Amanda has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX News and NPR. She has spoken at the Pentagon, the U.S. Senate, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as dozens of conferences on leadership, communicating in conflict, disaster behavior and education. She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her family.