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The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World Hardcover – 6 Dec 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (6 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241254736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241254738
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Michael Lewis is a brilliant writer... The Undoing Project is a masterclass in narrative non-fiction (Steven Poole Spectator)

A new book by Michael Lewis promises an absorbing story, dazzling ideas, journalistic flair and originality. He achieves this with extraordinary consistency. In The Undoing Project he has achieved it again. (Danny Finkelstein The Times)

Kahneman and Tversky's deep friendship and intellectual collaboration has arguably done as much to define our world as, say, the intertwining between Francis Crick and James Watson... Michael Lewis, with his great gift for humanising complex and abstract ideas, is exactly the storyteller Tversky and Kahneman deserve. (Tim Adams Observer)

I normally write two or three pages of notes when reviewing a book. On this occasion I scribbled six, often in high excitement. Lewis has a strong journalist's sense of a good story and the book is dotted with hundreds. He also has a feeling for pace and intensity. Although this is an easy read, nothing is wasted and everything seems to be in the right place. And what a story it is! (Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times)

Michael Lewis is perhaps my favourite writer full stop. At his best, Lewis engages both heart and brain like no author, and he tells the story of Tversky and Kahneman beautifully... the final sections will have you weeping (Robert Colvile Daily Telegraph)

Leaves you feeling cleverer (Katie Law Evening Standard)

Part biography of a friendship and part account of psychology's impact, while also taking in much of modern Israel's history, this is a fine showcase of Mr Lewis's range ... it is a story of remarkable individuals succeeding through innovative ideas ... Lewis has managed the unusual feat of interweaving psychology and the friendship between two men (Economist)

Gripping ... There is war, heroism, genius, love, loss, discovery, enduring loyalty and friendship. It is epic stuff ... Michael Lewis is one of the best non-fiction writers of our time. The writing has wit, passion and scientific credibility (Pete Lunn Irish Times)

Michael Lewis is perhaps my favourite writer full stop ... he engages both heart and brain like no other author, and he tells the story of Tversky and Kahneman beautifully (Robert Colville Telegraph)

Michael Lewis could spin gold out of any topic he chose ... his best work ... vivid, original and hard to forget (Tim Harford Financial Times)

It's good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like (Malcolm Gladwell)

Probably the best current writer in America. (Tom Wolfe)

The kind of writer who creates his own weather system (John Lanchester)

Michael Lewis specializes in narratives about quirky individuals who zig when everyone else zags (The New York Times)

About the Author

Michael Lewis's global bestselling books lift the lid on the biggest stories of our times. They include Flash Boys, a game-changing exposé of high-speed scamming; The Big Short, which was made into a hit Oscar-winning film; Moneyball, the story of a maverick outsider who beat the system; and Liar's Poker, the book that defined the excesses of the 1980s. Many of the ideas from these bestsellers underpin his latest book, The Undoing Project, which is the result of years of research. Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics. He writes for Vanity Fair magazine.


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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Half way through this book and really enjoying it. I had not read a Michael Lewis book before but have seen the Big Short and Moneyball in the cinema in the past couple of years. These films were based on his books. I particularly liked the Big Short and having studied Economics many, many moons ago at Uni, I have a passing interest in Behavioural Economics.This book is about how Kahneman and Tversky came to develop the Prospect Theory (in Behavioral economics). It explains how they met and became colleagues and how they came to develop the experiments which led to the development of the notions of risk averse and risk seeking behaviour among consumers.For example, why would someone drive across town to save $5 on a $25 calculator but not be willing to do the same to save $5 on a $125 coat? Why would someone take $1000 with certainty over $2500 with 50% certainty. It further explains how they came up with probability formulae to predict each stage of decision making under risk and how it has been applied so widely in the "real world" for example, in the insurance industry, investment banking that it effects everyone's daily life.

The book is written in a chatty style and breaks the hard maths and jargon laden concepts into smaller, easier chunks for the layman like me with a tired brain at bedtime to be able to understand.Very good.
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Format: Hardcover
Lewis is a product of one of my alma maters and it shows for this is a book to savour. He no doubt felt as many of us did that to teach economics on the assumption that human behaviour is rational is deeply flawed. Thousands of humankind act irrationally every day. They do not set out to maximise their utility yet numerous text books disagree and say they do. As the psychologist Daniel Kahneman showed in his difficult but brilliant book, Thinking Fast and Slow, we are endlessly complicated, and we do many irrational things.

Lewis has built a career on examining how people exploit an intellectual edge. See, for example his, The Blind Side. This new book sits easily alongside his previous three best sellers. In it he describes an exciting intellectual partnership between Kahneman and Amos Tversky an Israeli academic who had worked in their military services. In so doing he had discovered that pilots flying improved after being told off. It declined if they were praised. It had to do with the simple statistical regression to the mean.

The two psychologists began a long intense academic relationship looking into human behaviour. They published work showing that humans are deeply flawed and full of foibles. Almost inevitably the relationship became fraught with rivalry and jealousy. Resentment developed as one got more praise than the other. In the end they broke off their relationship. Shortly afterwards, Amos informed Daniel he had terminal cancer. He died in 1996 aged 59.

The book also deals with their ideas, ideas that demonstrated that we make many, many intellectual mistakes. There are links here to Lewis' other books, particularly Moneyball. These ideas are explained with such clarity that the general reader should have no problem understanding them.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a really great book from the author of The Big Short, Blind Side and Moneyball. Michael Lewis' style of journalistic fact finding mixed with a sense of drama and excitement make his books the perfct page turners. You won't want to stop reading till the end. In the Undoing Project he tells the story of two psycolgy professors Kahneman & Tversky who met in war-torn 1960s Israel. The two mens combined knowledge led them to economics and the discovery of what is termed "behavioural economics". Throughout the book the irrationality of human behaviour is shown time and again, and its effects on economics, to startling effect. Lewis does a great job explaining, in simple but effective ways, the many stats that go into behavioural economics and how they changed the way we view spending behaviour, risk taking etc. Its a fantastic read, and like his other books, really makes you think. Considering how many of Lewis' books have become oscar nominated/winning films, he's clearly one of the most important authors writing today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre ordered this book because a couple of Michael Lewis’s previous books had proven compelling reads and because the book was about the friendship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, had fascinated and stimulated me.
One of Michael Lewis’s books I had previously read was Moneyball about Oakland Athletics quest to find new and better players. They did not have the money of other clubs to spend on the most expensive players but they developed systematic ways of finding value where baseball experts (management, talent scouts, journalists) did not find it.

But after Moneyball was published, Michael Lewis realised that he was telling a more general story - about the way the human mind worked when it was forming judgements and making decisions under uncertainty. He discovered that a pair of Israeli psychologists - Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky - had developed theories on the limitations of rational man, assumed by economists, when making decisions under uncertainty.

This is a very personal story of the dire circumstances of the two refugees raised in Nazi Europe and Russia who met in the young state of Israel. They develop a tight working relationship and produced insights into human behaviour based on empirical evidence. They assiduously tested all their ideas on their students so their theories were soundly based on evidence in contrast to much conventional psychological and philosophical work.
In the 1960’s Israel which was in constant war conditions with the British and then the Arabs. Danny and Amos were active service soldiers as well as psychology students/ teachers personally involved in close combat fighting and with close friends dying.
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