Best nonfiction books of 2010
For an ethical catastrophe of an entirely different order, it's tough to beat Michael Lewis's "The Big Short." Lewis explores the 2008 financial crisis from the perspective of the few financiers who understood what was going on, bet against the global economy, and made a killing. The financial material here is complex enough to make a particle physicist blanch, but Lewis has a knack for making hard things look easy: sabermetrics, collateralized debt obligations, writing bestsellers. In his hands, the fate of the subprime mortgage market becomes a bedtime story for grownups, complete with underdogs, cliffhangers, villains, and good guys. Caveat emptor: There's no happy ending. But that's hardly Lewis's fault.