44 pages 1 hour read

Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2016

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Chapter 11Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary: “The Rules of Undoing”

This chapter introduces Harvard psychiatrist Miles Shore and his attempts to better understand how fertile pairs worked. Shore was fascinated by the notion that two people, each with their own creative impulses and temperaments, could produce or accomplish extraordinary things together. After interviewing a number of different pairs, Shore was led to Danny and Amos. In his interview with them, he noticed something unique about their answers. As Lewis writes, “what set Danny and Amos apart from the nineteen other couples Shore interviewed for his book was their willingness to speak about the problems in their relationship” (294). One of the core problems they identified in their collaboration was the notion of credit. Danny often felt overshadowed by Amos, as if others only saw Amos’s contributions. Amos regarded the whole idea of credit as a petty problem largely created by others.

Throughout the rest of the chapter, Lewis details how Danny and Amos’s relationship started to unravel—ironically just as Danny was working on a theory he called “undoing.” This theory referred to people’s efforts to mentally “undo” an event by conjuring up alternate realities of the situation in their mind.

By now Danny was working at the University of British Columbia, while Amos was living and working at Stanford.