Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Michael Lewis’ Hot Hand - Steve Sailer

From his 1989 Wall Street memoir Liar’s Poker to his new book, The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis has succeeded his mentor Tom Wolfe as our top Southern center-right nonfiction author.

Indeed, Wolfe recently let Lewis read through his old letters to his parents to enable Lewis to write an illuminating article in Vanity Fair about how the 1950s’ Thomas Wolfe Jr. became the 1960s’ Tom Wolfe!

The differences between Wolfe and Lewis, however, are so large that few have noticed their connection. Some of that is no doubt due to Lewis being a more cautious personality, but much of it reflects how much freer American writers were a couple of generations ago.

While I probably prefer Lewis’ lucid, buttoned-down prose to Wolfe’s show-offy style, Wolfe’s heroically ambitious career reflects the Apollo 11-meets-Woodstock ambitions of his era’s America. In contrast, Lewis’ admirable but inoffensive books for frequent fliers seem about as good as an American journalist can do in this touchy era.

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