Michael Scott Moore’s author site | Accept no imitations


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.


January 31, 2019

Hermosa Beach Historical Society

On the history of surfing, and Sweetness & Blood


710 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

April 03, 2019

University of New Hampshire

Current Issues Lecture Series


Memorial Union Building

Strafford Room
83 Main Street

Durham, NH 03824


Hearing him talk was like listening to a short story unfold.

TEDxBeaconStreet audience member, 2016

An eye-opening experience for West Point cadets ... The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point is incredibly appreciative to Mr. Moore, who was a pleasure to host, for his willingness to share his important insights with the future leaders of the U.S. military.

Dr. Jason Warner, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, West Point

His visit to the Sorbonne was very inspiring, something that I know will stay with the students as they embark on their journalism careers.

Marie Doezema, CELSA, Sorbonne University, Paris

Michael was extremely forthcoming, articulate, self-deprecating and unabashedly honest. He was a delight to work with, and I doubt that many in the audience will forget that evening — or Michael — for a long time to come.

Evy Warshawski, Napa Center for Thought & Culture

Mike exudes the calm demeanor of a man who has been through so much; a man who was broken into pieces, and who found a beautiful, spiritual way to pick up those pieces and become whole again.

C. von Ludwig, Google LA

Michael is represented by the Harper Collins Speakers Bureau

clients & platforms:

Michael Scott Moore is a 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’s won Fulbright, Logan, and Pulitzer Center grants for his nonfiction, and a MacDowell Colony fellowship for his fiction.

He worked for several years as an editor and writer at Spiegel Online in Berlin. He was kidnapped in early 2012 on a reporting trip to Somalia and held hostage by pirates for 32 months. 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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