Michael Scott Moore's official website


Michael gives thoughtful, gripping lectures about his ordeal as a hostage of Somali pirates. He can talk about the history of pirates and colonialism, the politics of piracy, and the role of Islam in Somalia as well as on the Barbary Coast. He can also talk about the cognitive skills needed to change to your approach toward any problem — real human freedom, as articulated by Stoics, Christians, and Buddhists.


October 17, 2018

Mechanic’s Institute Library
Part of LitQuake


In conversation with Jeanne Carstensen

57 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94104

October 18, 2018

Book Passage


51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925

October 22, 2018

The Frontline Club


In conversation with Ben Rawlence

13 Norfolk Pl
London, UK

October 25, 2018

CIEE Berlin


Gneisenaustraße 27
10961 Berlin

Hinterhof, downstairs lecture room

Michael is represented by the Harper Collins Speakers Bureau

clients & platforms, past & present:

Michael Scott Moore is a literary journalist and a novelist, author of a comic novel about L.A., Too Much of Nothing, as well as a travel book about surfing, Sweetness and Blood, which was named a best book of 2010 by The Economist. He was kidnapped in 2012 on a reporting trip to Somalia and held hostage for two and a half years. The Desert and the Sea, a memoir about that ordeal, is out now from HarperCollins.

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My review of Ingrid Betancourt's first novel, The Blue Line, is up at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

While I was in Somalia a man called Geoff Carter wrote about a picture of Indian men surfing on stand-up boards around 1800 off Chennai, which altered the known history of surfing a bit, even though the picture was hiding in plain sight at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The men from the Naham 3 are all friends of mine — a crew of 26 sailors from southeast Asia who worked on a tuna long-liner flagged in Oman but owned by a company in Taiwan, which abandoned them after Somali pirates hijacked the ship in 2012.

A version of what happened in Somalia is available as a Long Read at The Guardian, and, in somewhat shorter form, for German readers, in Der Spiegel. It’s not even near complete. Enormous parts of the story have been left untold.



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