Book Description: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable is a literary/philosophical book by the epistemologist Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The book focuses on the extreme impact of certain kinds of rare and unpredictable events (outliers) and humans' tendency to find simplistic explanations for these events retrospectively. This theory has since become known as the black swan theory.
The book also covers subjects relating to knowledge, aesthetics, and ways of life, and uses elements of fiction in making its points.
The first edition appeared in 2007 and was a commercial success. It spent 36 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. The second, expanded edition appeared in 2010.