An intriguing but incomplete outsider’s tale of lethal ambition.

The trials of a young woman interning on Wall Street.

Godiwalla reveals what initially drove her from the suburbs of Houston to seek her fortune in one of the most high-stress, male-dominated work environments on the planet. The third child in a family of exceptionally bright, hardworking daughters, Godiwalla was raised by her first-generation Persian-Indian parents with the expectation that she would excel in school. Wishing to distinguish herself from her sisters, the author looked to Wall Street as the sole means to earning her father’s respect: “I became fixated on the idea that money would not only allow me to live by my own rules but also, down the road, win the love of my father, who was still in awe of the American dream—wealth and prestige.” And so the straight-A student set off for Wall Street, becoming the sole freshman from the University of Texas to undertake a summer internship at JP Morgan, where she quickly learned to lose “anything Southern or middle class.” Undaunted by the exclusive world of finance, Godiwalla returned to New York City the summer of her junior year to participate in Morgan Stanley’s highly selective Scholars program for minorities, which gave her access to the ultra-elite, high-powered world of Corporate Finance along with a six-figure salary to help pay off her student loans. It was here that the author found the horrifyingly sexist and classist environment untenably soul numbing. As with many tales of personal reformation, the real story—how Godiwalla walked away from Wall Street and eventually achieved her other dream of getting married—remains unexplored and is only hinted at in the end papers.

An intriguing but incomplete outsider’s tale of lethal ambition.

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-934633-95-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atlas & Co.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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