The Blind Side


Michael Lewis

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The Blind Side Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Michael Lewis's The Blind Side. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis studied art history at Princeton, and later worked for an art dealer. In 1985, he achieved an M.A. in Economics from the London School of Economics, and afterwards worked for an investment firm. In the late 1980s, Lewis became a financial journalist. In 1989, he published his first book, Liar’s Poker, about the history of mortgage-backed bonds. Since the 90s, Lewis has written articles for a variety of different publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Slate. His other books include Moneyball (2003), The Blind Side (2006), The Big Short (2010), Flash Boys (2014), and, most recently, The Undoing Project (2016), all of which explore a little-understood sector of statistics or economics. Lewis lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and three children.
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Historical Context of The Blind Side

The Blind Side doesn’t allude to a great many historical events. However, it gives a sense for the crack epidemic of the 1980s, and for the decay of black urban communities during the same period. Throughout the 1980s, the use of crack cocaine was extremely high in poor black communities, creating a spike in crime and child neglect. Michael Oher was born in a community with a serious crack problem, and only left it because a father figure, Big Tony, helped him go to Briarcrest.

Other Books Related to The Blind Side

The Blind Side could be compared with The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace (2011), another nonfiction book about a highly gifted black man who migrates from the inner city to an elite, predominately white community—in Peace’s case, Yale University. Fans of Lewis’s book will also want to check out Moneyball (2003), Lewis’s nonfiction book about the role of sabermetrics in baseball management. There’s also an extended section in The Blind Side about Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 1854 poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” about the British army’s heroic, foolish attack on the Russian army during the Crimean War.
Key Facts about The Blind Side
  • Full Title: The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
  • When Written: 2005
  • Where Written: California
  • When Published: September 2, 2006
  • Genre: Nonfiction / Sports writing
  • Setting: Memphis, Tennessee, followed by Oxford, Mississippi
  • Climax: Michael Oher flees his fight with Antonio
  • Antagonist: Poverty, racism
  • Point of View: Third person omniscient

Extra Credit for The Blind Side

The King of Hollywood. Filmmakers love Michael Lewis’s books—in the last ten years, three of them (The Blind Side, Moneyball, and The Big Short) have been made into successful, Academy Award-nominated films.

Nobody’s perfect. The Blind Side won good reviews from critics, but some people claimed that it made a couple of notable errors regarding the sport of football. Football wonks pointed out that Lewis misreported the number of Super Bowls the 49ers won, and the year in which the NFL allowed their players to have free agency.