The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

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Synopsis

How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.


Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized 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. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.


The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.


This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

 

About Michael Lewis

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Michael Lewis is the author of Panic!, Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Home Game, among other works. He lives in Berkeley, California.
 
Published December 6, 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Undoing Project

Kirkus Reviews

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The bestselling author combines biography with recent intellectual history in a saga about the influential Israeli psychologist team of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

Dec 06 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Publishers Weekly

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Lewis (Flash Boys) deftly explores a timeless and fascinating subject%E2%80%94human decision-making%E2%80%94through the intellectually intimate collaboration of two influential psychologists, Daniel K

Dec 09 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

The New York Times

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Writing in The New Republic, two academics — Richard Thaler, an economist who had helped overthrow his field’s hyperrationality, and Cass Sunstein, a law professor — argued that Lewis had missed a larger story: The success of the A’s could trace its intellectual roots not only through the world o...

Dec 06 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Book Reporter

Anyone confronting the ideas of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman for the first time through this engaging work is unlikely ever again to think the same way about the complicated phenomenon of how we make up our minds.

Dec 15 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Book Reporter

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days.

Dec 06 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Booklist Online

But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 170,000 reviews.

Dec 02 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

USA Today

But, as Tversky and Kahneman are dismantling conventional economic theory later in the book, it’s slow going.

Dec 06 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

https://bookpage.com

Ultimately, though, it is the story of two unlikely, deeply connected friends who changed the way we think about the way we think.

Dec 05 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Irish Times

From the late 1960s, for two decades, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky designed scientifically groundbreaking yet simple and intuitive experiments on human judgment and decision-making.

Jan 13 2017 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

Seeking Alpha

Review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari, explores brain science and the future of human cognition.

Jan 23 2017 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

The Missoulian

Kahneman himself wrote an excellent 2011 popular book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Lewis skillfully highlights the wide-reaching implications of some of these ideas, but much of what makes his new book original is his deep reporting on the personalities and biographies of the two psychologists.

Feb 06 2017 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

See more reviews from this publication

Writing in The New Republic, two academics — Richard Thaler, an economist who had helped overthrow his field’s hyperrationality, and Cass Sunstein, a law professor — argued that Lewis had missed a larger story: The success of the A’s could trace its intellectual roots not only through the world o...

Dec 06 2016 | Read Full Review of The Undoing Project: A Friend...

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