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Author of ‘Moneyball’ & ‘The Blind Side’ making appearance at UCSB

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents An Evening with Michael Lewis, acclaimed author of the mega best-sellers Moneyball, The Big Short and The Blind Side, Wednesday, April 4 at 8 PM at UCSB Campbell Hall.

He’ll be featured in conversation with Kai Ryssdal, host of American Public Media’s award-winning radio show, Marketplace.

A shrewd observer of politics, finance and the American scene, renowned author Michael Lewis combines keen insight with his signature wit, making him one of today’s foremost social commentators. Recent Hollywood flicks, Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, and The Blind Side, were adapted from his popular books probing professional sports. A darkly humorous chronicler of the financial meltdown and the era leading up to it, his books include The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and, most recently, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World.

Based on articles Lewis wrote for Vanity Fair regarding the global debt crisis in Greece, Iceland and Germany, Boomerang (2011) captures the nonsensical madness that spread across both sides of the Atlantic during the last decade, as individuals, institutions and entire nations mindlessly embraced instant gratification over long-term planning. The Big Short (2010) is a razor-sharp analysis of how the event that was considered impossible – the free fall of the U.S. economy – finally occurred and a look at the heroes and villains behind it.

Lewis first made a name for himself in 1989 with the New York Times best-seller Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage of Wall Street, an inside look at his career as a bond trader that author Tom Wolfe called “the funniest book on Wall Street I’ve ever read” and earned Lewis the label of “America’s poet laureate of capital” from the Los Angeles Times. It remains one of the signature books of the 1980s. He traversed that era’s get-rich-quick jungle with The Money Culture (1992); chronicled the 1996 presidential campaign in Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House; crafted a 20-week New York Times best-seller in 2001 with The New, New Thing (“The book that does for Silicon Valley what Liar’s Poker did for Wall Street”); and explored the Internet boom in Next: The Future Just Happened (2002).

Lewis’ 2003 best-seller, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, offers an unprecedented look behind the scenes of Major League Baseball, detailing the effect an innovative personnel approach had in allowing the low-budget Oakland Athletics to rank among baseball’s best. The 2011 film adaptation starring Brad Pitt holds the record for the largest grossing opening weekend for a baseball movie ever. In 2006, Lewis delved into the substructure of professional football with The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, telling the inspirational true story of Baltimore Raven Michael Oher. The 2009 film adaptation, starring Sandra Bullock (who won an Academy Award for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy, the woman who helped the football player rise to success), broke the box office record for the biggest opening weekend of a sports film in history.

A native of New Orleans, Michael Lewis graduated from Princeton University with a degree in art history and earned a master’s at the London School of Economics. Prior to his career as an author, he worked with Salomon Brothers on Wall Street and in London. Lewis is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Slate and Bloomberg.

About Kai Ryssdal
Kai Ryssdal has been the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy, since 2005. He joined American Public Media in 2001 as the host of Marketplace Morning Report. His contributions to public radio have earned him first-place awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association and the Public Radio News Directors Association. He has also appeared on regional and national television, from SoCal Connected on KCET to Piers Morgan Tonight and John King, USA on CNN.