The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co.
The Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book Award was announced at a gala dinner last night at the British Library in London, and William D. Cohan took home the prize. That is pretty remarkable considering that this is his debut effort, and an impressive debut it is, weighing in at a hefty 742 pages. The book tells the story of Lazard Freres & Co., where Cohan worked for six years as an associate. It is not a very flattering look at the culture on Wall Street. In fact, looking at the shortlist as a whole, no one is making a case for that status quo. Both The last Tycoon
and The Black Swan
take on Wall Street--though The Black Swan
does so on a more intellectual than cultural level. Both Zoom
make the case for a paradigm shift in how we do business, and in Immigrants
, Philippe Legrain argues for more open immigration policies. Even Alan Greenspan, in The Age of Turbulence
, heads in directions you wouldn't expect. Taken together, these six books are (borrowing Greenspan's subtitle) "adventures in a new world". Congratulations to Mr. Cohan for winning amongst such company.
is a good interview with him about the book, the award, and Wall Street in general.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.