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Download The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. Audiobook, by William D. Cohan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (214 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William D. Cohan, William Cohan Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781415935705
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A grand and revelatory portrait of Wall Street’s most storied investment bank

Wall Street investment banks move trillions of dollars a year, make billions in fees, and pay their executives in the tens of millions of dollars. But even among the most powerful firms, Lazard Frères & Co. stood apart. Discretion, secrecy, and subtle strategy were its weapons of choice. For more than a century, the mystique and reputation of the “Great Men” who worked there allowed the firm to garner unimaginable profits, social cachet, and outsized influence in the halls of power. But in the mid-1980s, their titanic egos started getting in the way, and the Great Men of Lazard jeopardized all they had built.

William D. Cohan, himself a former high-level Wall Street banker, takes the reader into the mysterious and secretive world of Lazard and presents a compelling portrait of Wall Street through the tumultuous history of this exalted and fascinating company. Cohan deconstructs the explosive feuds between Felix Rohatyn and Steve Rattner, superstar investment bankers and pillars of New York society, and between the man who controlled Lazard, the inscrutable French billionaire Michel David-Weill, and his chosen successor, Bruce Wasserstein.

Cohan follows Felix, the consummate adviser, as he reshapes corporate America in the 1970s and 1980s, saves New York City from bankruptcy, and positions himself in New York society and in Washington. Felix’s dreams are dashed after the arrival of Steve, a formidable and ambitious former newspaper reporter. By the mid-1990s, as Lazard neared its 150th anniversary, Steve and Felix were feuding openly.

The internal strife caused by their arguments could not be solved by the imperious Michel, whose manipulative tendencies served only to exacerbate the trouble within the firm. Increasingly desperate, Michel took the unprecedented step of relinquishing operational control of Lazard to one of the few Great Men still around, Bruce Wasserstein, then fresh from selling his own M&A boutique, for $1.4 billion. Bruce’s take: more than $600 million. But it turned out Great Man Bruce had snookered Great Man Michel when the Frenchman was at his most vulnerable.

The Last Tycoons is a tale of vaulting ambitions, whispered advice, worldly mistresses, fabulous art collections, and enormous wealth—a story of high drama in the world of high finance.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Loftus | 1/14/2014

    " Will written, but LONG and really only for the die hard lover of the history of wall street. On a positive note I thought it was fair and well researched and did not have an agenda, a big bonus considering it was written by a former Lazard partner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 12/2/2013

    " Good retelling based on widely disseminated sources. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 The Truong | 10/31/2013

    " An interesting, but ultimately long-winded, look at Lazard Freres. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 10/27/2013

    " Interesting book on a company I didn't even know existed before I'd read their story. Well researched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 10/21/2013

    " A little long, but a good sense of financial history of the United States. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 10/10/2013

    " would benefit from some more rigorous editing and abbreviation, but insightful nonetheless... reminds me of why i would never want to work for an investment bank (did i just say that?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis de Seife | 8/25/2013

    " Great insights into the secret world of Lazard "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maire | 7/24/2013

    " lib 3/19; need to reorder as of 4/20 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/9/2013

    " This is a gossipy history of an investment bank, most of it dedicated to the last 20 years where the most gossip is available. It contains all of the joys and limitations of good gossip, although non-bankers may find the descriptions of the various compensation packages a little arcane. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Fang | 8/19/2012

    " Poorly written, makes me want to fall asleep. Read Barbarians at the Gate instead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles Stutsman | 6/5/2012

    " Rambled. Lost interest at a little over half. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LA | 2/17/2012

    " I never thought the exciting life of investment bankers at Lazard could turn into such a boring book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Travis | 12/2/2011

    " I was not able to finish this book. The direction was not clear. It is not badly written, but the direction of where the book was going was not clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 10/29/2011

    " Interesting story of Lazard's history and people behind it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 9/7/2011

    " This book probably has a pretty limited audience. That said, it's well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 7/23/2011

    " Amazing insight to one of most influential but unknown investment banks in history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kanwal | 6/3/2011

    " Definitely a book which gives a good insight of the wall street history. At some points, the direction gets a bit hazy but overall a nice read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/8/2011

    " Interesting book on a company I didn't even know existed before I'd read their story. Well researched. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathan | 5/26/2010

    " Amazing insight to one of most influential but unknown investment banks in history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 10/19/2009

    " Poorly written, makes me want to fall asleep. Read Barbarians at the Gate instead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Travis | 5/18/2009

    " I was not able to finish this book. The direction was not clear. It is not badly written, but the direction of where the book was going was not clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 4/14/2009

    " A little long, but a good sense of financial history of the United States. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 1/5/2009

    " would benefit from some more rigorous editing and abbreviation, but insightful nonetheless... reminds me of why i would never want to work for an investment bank (did i just say that?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 12/10/2008

    " Good retelling based on widely disseminated sources. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 7/31/2008

    " This is a gossipy history of an investment bank, most of it dedicated to the last 20 years where the most gossip is available. It contains all of the joys and limitations of good gossip, although non-bankers may find the descriptions of the various compensation packages a little arcane. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/17/2008

    " Interesting story of Lazard's history and people behind it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis | 2/19/2008

    " Great insights into the secret world of Lazard "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 1/22/2008

    " Will written, but LONG and really only for the die hard lover of the history of wall street. On a positive note I thought it was fair and well researched and did not have an agenda, a big bonus considering it was written by a former Lazard partner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/21/2008

    " This book probably has a pretty limited audience. That said, it's well done. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LA | 6/9/2007

    " I never thought the exciting life of investment bankers at Lazard could turn into such a boring book. "

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About the Author
William D. Cohan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Silence, Money and Power, House of Cards, and The Last Tycoons, which won the 2007 FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. He is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and writes a biweekly opinion column in The New York Times. He has also written for the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, The Atlantic, The Nation, and The Washington Post, among other publications. Cohan is a graduate of Duke University, the Columbia University School of Journalism, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.