cover image Up Close and All In: Life Lessons from a Wall Street Warrior

Up Close and All In: Life Lessons from a Wall Street Warrior

John Mack, with Linda Kulman. Simon Element, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-982174-27-9

Former Morgan Stanley CEO Mack offers an spirited account of his legendary career in this brash memoir. Born in 1944, Mack grew up in a North Carolina mill town with his Lebanese Catholic parents, whose traditions formed his “core identity.” After his father died while Mack was in college, he took a job at a local securities firm, and by 1968 landed on Wall Street at the Smith Barney training program making $60 a week. The early years of his finance career were thrilling if not “glamorous,” and Mack describes himself as not a part of the counterculture, though sympathetic to the time’s feminist and racial justice movements. He’s frank about professional mistakes he’s made—like a money-losing computation error after a drunken business lunch—and equally forthright about triumphs, such as a $10.2 billion merger of Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter, Discover & Co, a “jaw-dropper of a deal” that “instantly catapulted us to the top of the financial stratosphere.” Now facing down Alzheimer’s, Mack reflects on his career with no regrets: “I have fucking killed it,” he writes. “I knocked the cover off the ball in the financial world. I ran a great company.” Readers won’t be able to help cheering him on. (Oct.)