Michael Lewis

From the Stacks: 'Toy Goy'

April 26, 1993

On Passover 1993, then–senior editor Michael Lewis found himself alone in an empty New Republic office.

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The Trouble with Wall Street

The shocking news that Goldman Sachs is greedy

Twenty five years ago I quit a job on Wall Street to write a book about Wall Street. Since then, every year or so, UPS has delivered to me a book more or less like my own, written by some Wall Street insider and promising to blow the lid off the place, and reveal its inner workings, and so on. By now, you might think, this game should be over.

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Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1By Mark Twain Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith (University of California Press, 736 pp., $34.95) It is hard to think of another writer as great as Mark Twain who did so many things that even merely good writers are not supposed to do. Great writers are not meant to write bad books, much less publish them. Twain not only published a lot of bad books, he doesn’t appear to have noticed the difference between his good ones and his bad ones. Great writers are not meant to care more about money than art.

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Love and Warren Buffett.

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Inherit the Wind

To a New Orleans boy in the early '70s, the only acts of God that offered anything like the pleasure of a hurricane were the big rains that filled up the city like a bathtub and made it possible to paddle down the streets in a cone, waving at grown-ups trapped inside their floating cars and buses. Compared with the hurricanes, however, these rains were second-rate thrills—the Ferris wheel next to the giant roller coaster. They didn't close schools, knock down trees, rip roofs off houses, or even cut the lights.

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The Seducer

Bill Clinton and his cadre of dogged conspiracists.

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The Quarterback

Then Jackie Kemp came on and we seemed to collapse, offensively and defensively. The final score was 50-20. It was the most humiliating moment of my life. I had never lost a game by that kind of score, even in high school. --O.J. Simpson, The Education of a Rich Rookie (1970)     September 23 & 24: I am in Jack Kemp's press pool today mainly because no one else wants to be; no one else wants to be because tagging along with the running mate of a presidential candidate who trails by sixteen points with forty-three days to go is not journalism but a death watch.

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Before rejoining the Dole campaign I fly with my friend Barbara Feinman to Detroit. I have made a deal with myself, as an incentive to get out of bed in the morning. For every three days I spend with Bob Dole I will allow myself a day with someone who is not Bob Dole. Normally, I would have waited until I had earned the reward to collect it. But circumstances--namely Barbara--intervened. Until a few months ago Barbara was happily making a living helping famous Washingtonians—Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward, a pride of senators—write their books.

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Ralph Nader makes his mark on the 1996 campaign.

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Campaign Journal: Dole and Buchanan in 1996.

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