A heartfelt and cautionary success story incorporating both the deceptive promises of wealth and the life-changing power of...

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY

A MEMOIR

A former Wall Street hedge fund trader’s transformative turnabout from greed to philanthropy.

Raised in Southern California by a doting mother and a crass, dismissive father, Polk grew up dreaming of the day when the need for money wouldn’t dictate his every choice. In his engrossing debut memoir, the author retraces his beginnings as an overweight youth mercilessly bullied at summer camp and protective of his twin brother, Ben. Polk reinvented himself in high school, and his competitive nature matured as he became voraciously determined to outshine Ben in grades, sports, and dates. Acceptance at Columbia University further fed his overachievement fixation, though things almost derailed after bouts of bulimia, a suspension for theft, and problems involving drugs and alcohol. The memoir picks up narrative tension once Polk shifts his attention to his early 20s, during which his motivation and greed began to surmount his better judgment. A summer internship on a frantic stock market trading floor fueled a drive to succeed in business. Once he was hired on Wall Street, the salary and exorbitant bonuses became intoxicants to Polk, who became addicted to money with an eagerness to adopt the “easy confidence of millionaires.” The author writes with sincerity and passion, traversing over the increasing trouble his greed immersed him in, though it’s clear his behavior is derived more from a self-sabotaging, deep-seated psychological need to accumulate wealth, validation, and for “someone to tell me I was worth being taken care of.” Though Polk impressively aced the Wall Street learning curve and became a high-ranking senior trader, his introspection brought his insatiable avarice, maltreatment of women, and general misery into stark focus. This epiphany, somewhat rare for a self-made millionaire, inspired him to break away and embark on more personally enriching and rewarding humanitarian ventures like the food, education, and empowerment-building program he founded for families in low-income communities.

A heartfelt and cautionary success story incorporating both the deceptive promises of wealth and the life-changing power of self-awareness.

Pub Date: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-8598-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

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 Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

more