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Self-worth the hard way

"Self-worth the hard way" Continued...

Issue: "Rita: Strike 2," Oct. 1, 2005

WORLD: I have three sons in their 20s who admire your writing on topics as varied as business, technology, and baseball. What drew you to those topics, and what do people such as Jim Clark (The New New Thing), Billy Beane (Moneyball), and Coach Fitz have in common?

LEWIS: I was interested in each for a different reason, but they do share a thing in common. (Two, actually, if you count the fact that all three are tall men.) Each has a gift for subverting the status quo: Clark in the economy, Beane in baseball, and Fitz in the psyches of his players.

WORLD: You told Robert Boynton, for his book The New New Journalism, "I probably do 20 drafts of each chapter. I write something over and over." Is that something you also took away from Coach Fitz? And how many drafts did this book go through?

LEWIS: It's probably a slightly false lesson but one lesson I took away from Fitz was that, if it isn't hard to do, I probably didn't try hard enough. So if a piece of writing comes very easily, I am suspicious of it-often rightly. This piece of writing took a while to figure out, and while I didn't write 20 drafts of it I rewrote it many times.

Five Lewis Books

  • Liar's Poker (1989) A vivid depiction of method and madness on Wall Street by a neophyte bond trader with literary flair.
  • The Money Culture (1992) Another dissecting look at the world of high finance, with vivid portraits and puckish humor galore.
  • The New New Thing (1999) In this Silicon Valley saga, an entrepreneur comes up with ideas, hires managers, and sails away.
  • Moneyball (2003) How a poor major league baseball team keeps up with the Yankees by emphasizing brainy analysis over big wallets.
  • Coach (2005) An ode to a coach and a meditation on whether Americans still have what it takes to compete.
Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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