Revealing memoir from a significant 20th-century business leader.




The banker who famously helped to save New York City from bankruptcy recalls his career as a leading Wall Street dealmaker.

A self-described “capitalist with a liberal conscience,” 82-year-old Rohatyn (Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now, 2009, etc.) remains an advisor to the investment bank Lazard Frères, where founder Andre Meyer first hired him in 1948. Ultimately rising to managing director, Rohatyn spent more than 40 years with Lazard, participating in major mergers and acquisitions, including headline-makers like the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, the RCA merger with GE and numerous acquisitions for ITT, whose chair, Harold Geneen, was his mentor. A staunch Democrat, he served as President Clinton’s Ambassador to France, the nation his Polish-Jewish family had fled 60 years earlier to escape the Nazis. In this well-written memoir, the author says dumb luck—certainly not his lackluster record as a Middlebury College physics major—led him to investment banking, about which he knew nothing. For many years, he writes, he acted naively, even stupidly on occasion, notably at a grueling 1972 Congressional hearing into ITT affairs, where he appeared without an attorney. He writes at length about his most rewarding success—resolving New York City’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s as chair of the New York Municipal Assistance Corp.—and provides some wonderful scenes: Rohatyn calling Attorney General John Mitchell nightly, to report on the state of Wall Street, only to listen to a drunken Martha Mitchell ranting about left-wing pinkos and Vietnam; Rohatyn roaming deserted Manhattan streets at 2 a.m. strategizing with Geneen; Rohatyn racing from Elaine’s with New York Gov. Carey to make a private phone call at a nearby bar, where a patron said, “ ‘You look like Hugh Carey,’ ” and the governor replied, “ ‘Are you kidding? What would the governor be doing in a dump like this?’ ” The author also offers tips for effective dealing: In a financial crisis, most data are probably wrong, but you must act, and you must rely on people who might very well have caused the problem.

Revealing memoir from a significant 20th-century business leader.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4391-8196-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.


The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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