Amanda Ripley

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Amanda Ripley
Amanda Ripley - PopTech 2012.jpg
Alma materCornell University

Amanda Ripley is an American journalist and author.

Personal life[edit]

Ripley was born in Arizona and grew up in New Jersey. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 1996 with a B.A. in government. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband. Her brother is the screenwriter Ben Ripley.


Amanda Ripley writes about human behavior and public policy for Time magazine and The Atlantic.[1] She is currently an Emerson Fellow at the New America Foundation.[2] Her 2008 book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why, explains how the brain works in disasters—and how we can do better. The Unthinkable was made into a PBS documentary called "Surviving Disaster".[3]

Ripley has written feature stories about what makes a great teacher for The Atlantic and about education fever in Korea for TIME Magazine.[4][5]

Before joining Time, Ripley covered the D.C. court system for Washington City Paper and reported on Capitol Hill for Congressional Quarterly. In 2003, Ripley served as a Paris correspondent for TIME Magazine. She has also contributed to the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Monthly, Time Out, and Slate.

In August 2013, she released a book about education systems around the world called The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way, published by Simon & Schuster.

Her essay "Ban School Bake Sales" was featured as the essay prompt on the October 2016 SAT.


  • The Unthinkable: Who Survives when Disaster Strikes - and Why New York : Arrow Books, 2009. ISBN 9780099525721, OCLC 972068736
  • The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way New York, NY : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014. ISBN 9781451654431, OCLC 862348013


External links[edit]

External video
Book Discussion on The Smartest Kids in the World, C-SPAN, August 30, 2014