Book-Shelf: Sandy's Story

You don't have to pity the Citigroup CEO to relish this tale of breaking down walls on the Street

The dramatic engine of Tearing Down the Walls, Monica Langley's biography of Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, is his lifelong struggle for acceptance among Wall Street's elite. What a burden, we are repeatedly reminded, was Weill's background as a rumply Jewish kid from Brooklyn, N.Y.--he's even the wrong kind of Jew!--as he fought to overcome anti-Semitism and class prejudice to make it to the top, not once but twice. It's a nice story line but a somewhat artificial one.

Whatever social obstacles the Cornell-educated Weill faced when he hit Wall Street in 1955, he had built a respectable brokerage in Cogan, Berlind,...

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