A Dialogue, Physiological and Theological

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Dec 31, 1833
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70
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English
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A collection of true stories about money, the stock market, and high finance from the Gerald Loeb Award–winning “unbelievable business writer” (Bill Gates).

For decades, author and New Yorker staff writer John Brooks was renowned for his keen intelligence, in-depth knowledge, and uniquely engaging approach to the dramas and personalities of the financial and business worlds. With a style of prose that “turns potentially eye-glazing topics . . . into rollicking narratives,” Brooks proved that even the bottom line can be moving, hilarious, and infuriating all at once (Slate). Here are three of his most fascinating works, which still resonate today.
 
Business Adventures: This collection of entertaining short features is a brilliant example of Brooks’s talents, covering subjects such as the Edsel disaster, the rise of Xerox, and how corruption may be an irreparable part of the corporate world.
 
“Brooks’s deeper insights about business are just as relevant today as they were back then.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal
 
Once in Golconda: An incisively examined chronicle of the euphoric financial climb of the twenties, the ruinous stock market crash of 1929, and the unbelievable hardship and suffering that followed in its wake.
 
“Brooks is truly willing to give up his own views to get inside the mind of all his subjects.” —National Review
 
The Go-Go Years: A humorous look at the staggering “go-go” growth of the 1960s stock market and the ensuing crashes of the 1970s in which fortunes were made overnight and lost even faster.
 
“An unusually complex and thoughtful work of social history.” —The New York Times
 
“A moving and riveting memoir about one family’s love and tragedy…beautifully researched, and expressed” (Anne Lamott).

Early one Tuesday morning John Brooks went to his teenage daughter’s room. Casey was gone, but she had left a note: The car is parked at the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m sorry. Within hours a security video showed Casey stepping off the bridge.

Brooks spent several years after Casey’s suicide trying to understand what led his seventeen-year-old daughter to take her life. He examines Casey’s journey from her abandonment at birth in Poland, to the orphanage where she lived for her first fourteen months, to her adoption and life with John and his wife, Erika, in Northern California. He reads. He talks to Casey’s friends, teachers, doctors, therapists, and other parents. He consults adoption experts, researchers, clinicians, attachment therapists, and social workers.

In The Girl Behind the Door, Brooks’s “desperate search for answers and guilt for not doing the right thing without knowing what it was reveals the utter helplessness of suicide survivors” (Kirkus Reviews). Ultimately, Brooks comes to realize that Casey probably suffered an attachment disorder from her infancy—an affliction common among children who’ve been orphaned, neglected, and abused. She might have been helped if someone had recognized this. The Girl Behind the Door is an important book for parents, mental health professionals, and teens: “Rarely have the subjects of suicide, adoption, adolescence, and parenting been explored so openly and honestly” (John Bateson, Former Executive Director, Contra Costa County Crisis Center, and author of The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge).
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