THE LION OF WALL STREET: The Two Lives of Jack Dreyfus by Jack Dreyfus

THE LION OF WALL STREET: The Two Lives of Jack Dreyfus

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A brief and chatty profile that tells much more about Dreyfus's prowess at his hobbies than his career on Wall Street, grafted onto a reprint of his A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked (1981). Although Dreyfus asserts that he has a small ego, he opens with a cloying letter from The Reporting Angel to Dreyfus's mother (in heaven) listing her son's accomplishments on earth. It is a monumental boast whose claims are repeated ad nauseam in the pages that follow. He was, it seems, awfully good at golf, tennis, card playing, and horse racing. About his success on Wall Street, he is actually quite modest, noting the role of luck in that area: ""The Dreyfus Fund walked into the office, and I bought the right stock for the wrong reason."" Dreyfus's forte appears to have been not investing, but advertising and promoting the Dreyfus Fund. Readers expecting investment wisdom will find little here, but there is advice on playing gin rummy. The major portion of this work, however, consists of the reprint of Dreyfus's previous book, which details his obsession with the drug phenytoin (Dilantin), a medication that was then known primarily as an anticonvulsant but that he found relieved his depression. Still in his 40s, he left Wall Street to form the Dreyfus Medical Foundation, pouring millions into researching the therapeutic uses of phenytoin and into efforts to disseminate research findings to the medical community. His attempts to interest the federal government as well as Parke-Davis, its manufacturer, in recognizing and promoting phenytoin as a drug of multiple uses were remarkable and seemingly tireless. Indeed, at 82 he is still at it, using potential public interest in his life story to arouse interest in phenytoin. A plug for phenytoin masquerading as autobiography.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Regnery