Tearing Down the Walls
How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World. . .and Then Nearly Lost It All
Tearing Down the Walls tells the riveting inside story of how a Jewish boy from Brooklyn's back alleys overcame incredible odds and deep-seated prejudices to transform the financial-services industry as we know it today.
Using nearly five hundred firsthand interviews with key players in Weill's life and career -- including Weill himself -- Langley brilliantly chronicles not only his success and scandals but also the shadows of his hidden self: his father's abandonment and his loving marriage; his tyrannical rages as well as his tearful regrets; his fierce sense of loyalty and his ruthless elimination of potential rivals. By highlighting in new and startling detail one man's life in a narrative as richly textured and compelling as a novel, Tearing Down the Walls provides the historical context of the dramatic changes not only in business but also in American society in the last half century.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: Crashing the Gates
At age twenty-two, when most young men are eagerly laying plans for their careers, Sandy Weill was facing failure. In one shattering night the future that he had thought would be his had utterly evaporated. His dreams of joining the family business were in ruins, his beloved mother was suddenly facing life alone, his classmates would soon be graduating without him, and the woman he desperately wanted to marry was being told to dump him. All because his father, Max Weill, went out for cigarettes one night and didn't come back.
For Sandy, the pain of failure was all the worse for how hard and...
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