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The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World
Read date: Oct 2018

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World by Michael Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story of Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman’s lives, how their paths crossed and re-crossed, their extraordinary friendship, and their uncovering and unpacking of the way in which we are not the perfect, rational, beings that economists and psychologists once had us believe.

Michael Lewis is a consummate storyteller, and he does a brilliant job of bringing these two characters to life, with all their brilliance as well as their human frailties. One aspect I particularly liked was the interweaving of their lives with the emergence of modern Israel – Tversky was born in Palestine, while Kahneman’s family emigrated there after the war. It feels very much as if the culture and the intellectual climate of the new country was a significant factor in what they were able to accomplish.

This is a story that has not yet ended, even though one of the two leading characters is no longer with us. Others have picked up the torch, and are carrying it forward. The implications of their work are profound and still being explored, yielding so far a couple of Nobel prizes, and some important implications for our understanding of ourselves, how we make decisions, and how we can make them smarter.

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