The B&N Podcast: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.

In this episode our guest is the fascinating writer and thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the bestsellers The Black Swan and Antifragile. Taleb has been a hedge fund manager, a mathematician and professor of engineering, but he’s found his widest influence as a thinker about risk, randomness and how they influence our lives from the boardroom to the street.  He was joined in our podcast studio by Jim Mustich for a conversation about his latest book, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, and about Taleb’s unique point of view on how we make our way in a fundamentally uncertain world.


A bold new work that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion, and finance from the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The phrase “skin in the game” is one we have often heard but have rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it’s also an astonishingly complex worldview that, as Taleb shows in this book, applies to literally all aspects of our lives. As Taleb says, “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will profit and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them.”

In his inimitable style, Taleb pulls on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump to Seneca to the ethics of disagreement to create a jaw-dropping tapestry for understanding our world in a brand new way.

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 Photo of Nassim Nicholas Taleb (c) Sarah Josephine Taleb.