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Michael Lewis’ Newest Bestseller “Premonition” is his latest Triumph in Capturing the Zeitgeist



A unique talent for choosing and presenting exactly the theme and subject of the moment, and for posterity

Above:Photo from ‘The Big Short’ courtesy of Paramount

Very few authors have the intense feeling for the “zeitgeist” that Michael has shown throughout his long career. The ability to capture the spirit of the times so well is also possibly the reason why so many of his books have been snapped up and made into successful films. Examples are “The Big Short” (Christian Bale), “Moneyball” (Brad Pitt), “The Blind Side” (Sandra Bullock), all three of these also received Best Picture Oscar nominations.

While perhaps not an author to be remembered as a high literary genius such as James Joyce or William Shakespeare, the body of work, as a chronicle of modern times seen through the lens of his minds eye is, nevertheless, substantive and engaging. While “The Big Short”, both the book and subsequent film, capture with amazing clarity a confusing period that has been in many ways glossed over, even willfully, by those that were partially responsible but never held to account.

Though it remains to be seen how the future will look back on the 2020 novel coronavirus era, “Premonition” has, once more, the same potential to become one, potentially definitive portrait, of the crisis and it’s emergence into a full blown worldwide pandemic.

Now, soon, “The Premonition” is set to be produced by Amy Pascal for Pascal Pictures, with Rachel O’Connor. Directors are slated to be Phil Lord and Chris Miller who are mostly known for lighter fare.

To make it easier a great selection of Michael Lewis’ books are featured front and center, below, along with descriptions, provided courtesy of the Bookshop (and the various publishers), and with some links for a variety of options of where to purchase.

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl’s science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control.

A local public-health officer uses her worm’s-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society.

A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work.

Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts.

The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.

Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar’s Poker.

Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.

Liar’s Poker

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms.

During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar’s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years–a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business.

From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball is a quest for the secret of success in baseball.

In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis follows the low-budget Oakland A’s, visionary general manager Billy Beane, and the strange brotherhood of amateur baseball theorists. They are all in search of new baseball knowledge–insights that will give the little guy who is willing to discard old wisdom the edge over big money. Also made into a hit movie starring Brad Pitt, Moneyball is a book that exposes human nature, and how it can suddenly be overcome when unique perspectives lead to innovative choices.

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game

When we first meet him, Michael Oher is one of thirteen children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or how to read or write.

He takes up football, and school, after a rich, white, Evangelical family plucks him from the streets. Then two great forces alter Oher: the family’s love and the evolution of professional football itself into a game where the quarterback must be protected at any cost.

Our protagonist becomes the priceless package of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback’s greatest vulnerability, his blind side.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

In Michael Lewis’s game-changing bestseller, a small group of Wall Street iconoclasts realize that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders.

They band together–some of them walking away from seven-figure salaries–to investigate, expose, and reform the insidious new ways that Wall Street generates profits. If you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. Billions have been spent by Wall Street firms and stock exchanges to gain the advantage of a millisecond. “Is it a scam?” 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft asks during his interview with the author, It’s bigger than a scam, Lewis says.

Lewis further explains how ordinary investors are affected and argues that high-frequency traders have created instability in the stock market — for everyone. A reoccurring metaphor Lewis uses in his book “Flash Boys” is one of “prey and predators.” According to Lewis, the prey is “anybody who’s actually an investor in the stock market.”

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy

Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative of the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its leaders through willful ignorance and greed.

The government manages a vast array of critical services that keep us safe and underpin our lives from ensuring the safety of our food and drugs and predicting extreme weather events to tracking and locating black market uranium before the terrorists do. The Fifth Risk masterfully and vividly unspools the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works.

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original papers that invented the field of behavioral economics.

One of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, Kahneman and Tversky’s extraordinary friendship incited a revolution in Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible. In The Undoing Project, Lewis shows how their Nobel Prize-winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

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