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A powerful portrait of the lives of four boarding school graduates who died too young, John F. Kennedy, Jr. among them, by their fellow Andover classmate, New York Times bestselling author William D. Cohan. In his masterful pieces for Vanity Fair and in his bestselling books, William D. Cohan has proven to be one of the most meticulous and intrepid journalists covering the world of Wall Street and high finance. In his utterly original new audiobook, Four Friends, he brings all of his brilliant reportorial skills to a subject much closer to home: four friends of his who died young. All four attended Andover, the most elite of American boarding schools, before spinning out into very different orbits. Indelibly, using copious interviews from wives, girlfriends, colleagues, and friends, Cohan brings these men to life. Jack Berman, the child of impoverished Holocaust survivors, uses his unlikely Andover pedigree to achieve the American dream, only to be cut down in an unimaginable act of violence. Will Daniel, Harry Truman's grandson and the son of the managing editor of The New York Times, does everything possible to escape the burdens of a family legacy he's ultimately trapped by. Harry Bull builds the life of a careful, successful Chicago lawyer and heir to his family's fortune...before taking an inexplicable and devastating risk on a beautiful summer day. And the life and death of John F. Kennedy, Jr.-a story we think we know-is told here with surprising new details that cast it in an entirely different light. Four Friends is an immersive, wide-ranging, tragic, and ultimately inspiring account of promising lives cut short, written with compassion, honesty, and insight. It not only captures the fragility of life but also its poignant, magisterial, and pivotal moments. Praise for Four Friends: "William Cohan has written a beautiful and heartbreaking book about friendship and privilege, in a corner of American life that suddenly feels very far away." - Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Tipping Point and Blink "Four Friends is a tender, bracing meditation on ends and beginnings, large dreams and larger misfortunes, outsized promise and unfathomable loss. It is also an indelible portrait of a time and place, at once masterfully researched and deeply personal." - Stacy Schiff, Pultizer Prize-winning author of A Great Improvisation "Deeply moving, Four Friends explores the idea of fate and shattered promise with intelligence and heart. It will haunt you and make you think." - Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Library BookShow more
A timely, counterintuitive defense of Wall Street and the big banks as the invisible—albeit flawed—engines that power our ideas, and should be made to work better for all of us Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers should be held accountable for the financial crisis in 2008. Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it’s important to the proper functioning of the world economy. Maybe you don’t really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as “credit default swap” make your eyes glaze over. Maybe you are utterly confused by the fact that after attacking Wall Street mercilessly during his campaign, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with Wall Street veterans. But if you like your smart phone or your widescreen TV, your car or your morning bacon, your pension or your 401(k), then—whether you know it or not—you are a fan of Wall Street. William D. Cohan is no knee-jerk advocate for Wall Street and the big banks. He’s one of America’s most respected financial journalists and the progressive bestselling author of House of Cards. He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent seventeen years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. But in recent years he’s become alarmed by the cheap shots and ceaseless vitriol directed at Wall Street’s bankers, traders, and executives—the people whose job it is to provide capital to those who need it, the grease that keeps our economy humming. In this brisk, no-nonsense narrative, Cohan reminds us of the good these institutions do—and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed. Praise for William D. Cohan “Cohan writes with an insider’s knowledge of the workings of Wall Street, a reporter’s investigative instincts and a natural storyteller’s narrative command.”—The New York Times “[Cohan is] one of our most able financial journalists.”—Los Angeles Times “A former Wall Street man and a talented writer, [Cohan] has the rare gift not only of understanding the fiendishly complicated goings-on, but also of being able to explain them in terms the lay reader can grasp.”—The Observer (London)Show more
From the bestselling, prize-winning author of THE LAST TYCOONS and HOUSE OF CARDS, a revelatory history of Goldman Sachs, the most dominant, feared, and controversial investment bankin the worldFor much of its storied 142-year history, Goldman Sachs has projected an image of being better than its competitors--smarter, more collegial, more ethical, and far more profitable. The firm--buttressed by the most aggressive and sophisticated p.r. machine in the financial industry--often boasts of 'The Goldman Way,' a business model predicated on hiring the most talented people, indoctrinating them in a corporate culture where partners stifle their egos for the greater good, and honoring the '14 Principles,' the first of which is 'Our clients' interests always come first.'But there is another way of viewing Goldman--a secretive money-making machine that has straddled the line between conflict-of-interest and legitimate deal-making for decades; a firm that has exerted undue influence over government since the early part of the 20th century; a company composed of 'cyborgs' who are kept in line by an internal 'reputational risk department' staffed by former CIA operatives and private investigators; a workplace rife with brutal power struggles; a Wall Street titan whose clever bet against the mortgage market in 2007--a bet not revealed to its clients--may have made the financial ruin of the Great Recessionworse.As William D. Cohan shows in his riveting chronicle of Goldman's rise to the summit of world capitalism, the firm has shown a remarkable ability to weather financial crises, congressional, federal and SEC investigations, and numerous lawsuits, all with its reputation and its enormous profits intact.Byreading thousands of pages of government documents, court cases, SEC filings, Freedom of Information Actpapersand other sources, and conducting over 100 interviews, including interviews with clients, competitors, regulators, current and former Goldman employees (including thesixliving men who have run Goldman), Cohan has constructed a vivid narrative that looks behind the veil of secrecy to reveal how Goldman has become so profitable, and so powerful.Part of the answer is the firm's assiduous cultivation of people in power--dating back to 1913, when Henry Goldman advised the government on how the new Federal Reserve, designed to oversee Wall Street, should be constituted.Sidney Weinberg, who ran the firm for four decades, advised presidents from Roosevelt to Kennedy and was nicknamed 'The Politician' for his behind-the-scenes friendships with government officials. Goldman executives ran fundraising efforts for Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. The firm showered lucrative consultingor speaking fees on figures like Henry Kissinger and Lawrence Summers. Famously, and fatefully, two Goldman leaders-- Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson--became Secretaries of the Treasury, where theiractions both before andduring the financial crisis of 2008became the stuff of controversy and conspiracy theories.Another major strand in the firm's DNA is its eagerness to deal on both sides of a transaction, eliding questions of conflict of interest by the mere assertion of their innate honesty and nobility, a refrain repeated many times in its history, most notoriously by current Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein's jesting assertion that he was doing 'God's work.'As Michiko Kakutani's New York Times review of HOUSE OF CARDS said, 'Cohan writes with an insider's knowledge of the workings of Wall Street, a reporter's investigative instincts and a natural storyteller's narrative command.' In MONEY & POWER, Cohan has marshaled all these gifts in a powerful and definitive account of an institution whose public claims of virtue look very much like ruthlessness when exposed to the light of day.From the Hardcover edition.Show more
Written with the novelistic verve and insider knowledge that made The Last Tycoons a bestseller and a prize winner, House of Cards is a chilling cautionary tale about greed, arrogance, and stupidity in the financial world, and the consequences for all of us.Show more