Meet the Staff at Highbrow Magazine: Q&A With Writer Michael Cancella

Michael Cancella


Michael Cancella, a Highbrow Magazine contributor,  graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A in History in 2010.  After graduating he worked in the finance industry at a hedge fund startup and is currently going through the CFA Program in an effort to broaden his knowledge of finance and the economy.  Prior to returning to school to finish his degree at Columbia, he spent a number of years in the software dotcoms and helped found and run a small technology firm specializing in the secure encryption and transmission of data over the internet.  Michael’s combination of interests has led to a fascination with the ongoing economic crisis and its financial and historical implications.  A desire to place current events in historical context has inspired him to pursue efforts in financial journalism, which in turn has evolved into a freelance writing career with a broad scope of topic interests including politics, domestic social issues, global events, sports, as well as finance and the economy. 


Q & A with Michael:


What inspired you to become a writer?

I am a student of the world.  I’m fascinated with figuring out how the world works, how all the pieces fit together.  Writing provides an outlet to share those observations and my opinions on them.  It’s really the greatest job one can have.


Who are a few of your favorite authors?  

As a kid I was addicted to Louis L’Amour novels, the classic western genre stuff.  He wasn’t a great writer, but he was a top-notch storyteller.  I like to think that I have acquired some of his ability to tell a story that grabs the reader  right away and makes them want to read more. 



What’s the worst job/assignment  you’ve ever had?

Working as a paralegal.  Awful.  Cured me of any desire to go to law school forever.


Which is your favorite city in the U.S.?

Manhattan, with Boston a close second.  I live in NYC, but have my familial roots in Boston.  Being a diehard fan of all Boston sports teams while living in New York has been an interesting conundrum. 



What’s your all-time favorite film?

Once Upon a Time in the West, followed closely by Heat.




Which newspapers/magazines/websites do you read regularly?

I read Foreign Affairs bimonthly and follow sports on Fox Sports.  Other than that I follow stories or subjects rather than sticking to just one site, especially when it comes to politics or global events.  I like trying to get as nuanced of a perspective as possible and too many sites these days are too biased to read exclusively.


Would you rather become the next editor-in-chief of the New Yorker or replace Jon Stewart as host of the “Daily Show”?

Neither.  I’d rather be a successful author and make my living that way. 




What are your favorite “highbrow” pastimes?

I‘m more of a working-class, blue-collar guy myself.  Jeans and flannels and a good football game with a glass of bourbon is about as highbrow as I get. 


Read Michael’s articles below:


The Potential for Republican Buyer’s Remorse if Romney is Elected


How Small-Market Baseball Triumphed in 2012

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