Michael Lewis on a love story that all happened in the mind
it’s not the most obvious movie, but is going to require someone who’s got a passion for it and the talent to pull it off,” says the New Orleansborn author and financial journalist. Lewis, who’s married to fine art photographer Tabitha Soren, with whom h
What makes the story so compelling is that the men were complete opposites.
“Danny was always sure he was wrong. Amos was always sure he was right. Danny didn’t go to parties. Amos was the life and soul of the party. Danny was massively untidy. Amos was pedantically neat.
“They were investigating human fallibility, largely by investigating Danny’s fallibility and the mistakes he made and noticed himself making. He was generally neurotic and defensive about the mistakes he made. Amos gave him a safe space to investigate them.”
Throughout their collaboration, during their waking hours they could usually be found together.
“The work was an excuse to spend time together. It was odd for intellectual life to generate this sort of passion.”
Their close asexual relationship affected their families. Lewis said. Kahneman married and had a son and daughter, but seemed to live for his work and wasn’t a very happy person. He later left his wife to marry psychologist Anne Treisman
“Danny’s first marriage unravelled and his second marriage almost unravelled. Amos made it clear that Danny was the most important relationship in his life. It’s odd that two men, who were such raging heterosexuals, were able to divide their minds and their love lives so extremely.” owever, after 12 years, from 1969-1981, their partnership soured.
“When they moved to North America, Amos became a global superstar and Danny was neglected. Amos received the MacArthur ‘genius’ award alone for their joint work. The outside world was hostile to the collaboration, assuming Amos did all the work.”
As Tversky embraced the stardom, Kahneman resented not being given equal credit. They lost touch for more than a decade – until, when Tversky discovered he was dying from cancer, he called Kahneman and told him he had six months to live. Tversky died in 1996, aged 59.
“They spent the last six months close. They didn’t work together, but they talked every day,” said Lewis.
“Among the last things Amos said to Danny was, ‘I want you to know that out of all the people on the planet, you’re the one who has caused me the most pain’. Danny said that because Amos was dying, he bit his tongue and didn’t say it back.”
Michael Lewis has turned from banking to behavioural economics