The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Michael Lewis’s instant classic may be “the most influential book on sports ever written” (People), but “you need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis’s] thoughts about it” (Janet Maslin, New York Times).
One of GQ's 50 Best Books of Literary Journalism of the 21st Century
Just before the 2002 season opens, the Oakland Athletics must relinquish its three most prominent (and expensive) players and is written off by just about everyone—but then comes roaring back to challenge the American League record for consecutive wins. How did one of the poorest teams in baseball win so many games?
In a quest to discover the answer, Michael Lewis delivers not only “the single most influential baseball book ever” (Rob Neyer, Slate) but also what “may be the best book ever written on business” (Weekly Standard). Lewis first looks to all the logical places—the front offices of major league teams, the coaches, the minds of brilliant players—but discovers the real jackpot is a cache of numbers?numbers!?collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers, and physics professors.
What these numbers prove is that the traditional yardsticks of success for players and teams are fatally flawed. Even the box score misleads us by ignoring the crucial importance of the humble base-on-balls. This information had been around for years, and nobody inside Major League Baseball paid it any mind. And then came Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics. He paid attention to those numbers?with the second-lowest payroll in baseball at his disposal he had to?to conduct an astonishing experiment in finding and fielding a team that nobody else wanted.
In a narrative full of fabulous characters and brilliant excursions into the unexpected, Michael Lewis shows us how and why the new baseball knowledge works. He also sets up a sly and hilarious morality tale: Big Money, like Goliath, is always supposed to win . . . how can we not cheer for David?
Praise For Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game…
Lewis has hit another one out of the park…You need know absolutely nothing about baseball to appreciate the wit, snap, economy and incisiveness of [Lewis's] thoughts about it.
— Janet Maslin - New York Times
Moneyball is the best business book Lewis has written. It may be the best business book anyone has written.
— Mark Gerson - Weekly Standard
By playing Boswell to Beane's Samuel Johnson, Lewis has given us one of the most enjoyable baseball books in years.
— Lawrence S. Ritter - New York Times Book Review
It’s a sports story that’s actually a business story that’s also a story about preconceptions. Plus, Michael Lewis’s writing is so clear, readable, and highly entertaining.
— Charles Yu - Literary Hub
Ebullient, invigorating…Provides plenty of action, both numerical and athletic, on the field and in the draft-day war room.
— Lev Grossman - Time
A journalistic tour de force.
— Richard J. Tofel - Wall Street Journal
Michael Lewis's beautiful obsession with the idea of value has once again yielded gold…Moneyball explains baseball's startling new insight; that for all our dreams of blasts to the bleachers, the sport's hidden glory lies in not getting out.
— Garry Trudeau
I understood about one in four words of Moneyball, and it's still the best and most engrossing sports book I've read in years. If you know anything about baseball, you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode.
— Nick Hornby - The Believer
Rarely has the lesson of a book...had such an enormous impact....[Moneyball] showcase[s] Lewis’s great gift of finding the perfect characters and narratives to animate big, complex ideas that have been hiding in plain sight.
— Daniel Riley - GQ
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393324815, 336pp.
Publication Date: March 17, 2004