Bill James: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Bill James

Preeminent Statistician, Historian, and Author

Bill James is a baseball writer, historian, and statistician whose work has been widely influential. Since 1977, James has written more than two dozen books devoted to baseball history and statistics. His approach, which he termed sabermetrics in reference to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), scientifically analyzes and studies baseball, often through the use of statistical data, in an attempt to determine why teams win and lose. He first made his mark in the 1970s and 1980s with his Baseball Abstracts; these are the modern predecessor to websites using sabermetrics such as Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Primer (now Baseball Think Factory).

James has been the subject of innumerable profiles, most famously his extensive appearance in Michael Lewis’s bestselling Moneyball, where his personal story (from factory security guard to Red Sox front office employee) is now the stuff of legend. TIME magazine named him one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2006 and he was the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes profile in 2008. He is currently the Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox.

James has also turned his analytical skills and insatiable curiosity to a whole new topic: American crime. He has voraciously read true crime throughout his life and has been interested in writing a book on the topic for decades. With Popular Crime: Reflections On The Celebration Of Violence, he takes readers on an epic journey through the subject, explaining how crimes have been committed, investigated, prosecuted, and chronicled, and how that has profoundly influenced our culture over the last few centuries.

In Popular Crime, James narrates a fascinating tour through murder and misdeeds from the 1600s to the present day, commenting in his inimitable style on the nature of evidence, the handling of cases, and the resulting publicity. James pays particular attention to crimes that were sensations during their time, some of which have faded into obscurity, and also casts a fresh eye on the most famous crimes cases that remain unsolved: the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Black Dahlia murder, the Sam Sheppard case, the Boston Strangler, and JonBenet Ramsey.

In Popular Crime, James also looks at how the country has changed by examining the development of the way murder has been committed, investigated, and prosecuted. Popular Crime explores phenomena such as the rise of an organized police force, the fluctuation of crime rates, the controversial use of the death penalty, the use and value of different kinds of evidence, and the unexpected ways in which tabloid crimes have shaped the American criminal justice system.

Satisfyingly sprawling and tremendously entertaining, Popular Crime is a professed amateur’s powerful examination of the incredible impact crime stories have in our society, culture, and history.

James lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with his wife, Susan McCarthy, and three children.

Interested in booking Bill James to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

  • The Science of Baseball
  • Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence

Your name: Your e-mail: