From Publishers Weekly
In this insightful volume, Lynn gives readers a glimpse into the world of the "Merc," or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a rough, gritty, action-packed scene dictated by money and testosterone—a place where women are outsiders. Lynn, an artistic type who never properly explains (and doesn't seem to know herself) why she wanted to prove herself in a place like the Merc, uses the stories of the many women she interviewed and heard stories of to illustrate how a man's success is easily measured in dollars, while a woman's success takes into account many complicated factors. The harassment, teasing, double standards, unfair practices and overall rough-and-tumble environment make for an exciting, fast-paced backdrop in which men are traders and women are wannabes, gold diggers and worse. The book's pace is good, the women's stories are sometimes downright riveting and this account reads like a novel. These women aren't heroines—most are in it for the money, and there is little in the way of happy endings or morals for the stories. But readers are treated to a skilled presentation of the sights, sounds and even smells of a world that few women—or men, for that matter—ever truly understand.
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Lynn, a writer and a clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the Merc), tells stories about the famous trading floor and the few women who flourish in that environment of bad behavior, extraordinary skill and instincts, breathtaking greed, and heroic courage. Futures trading focuses on taking risks, with unlimited potential for profit and staggering loss by debt-strapped players. Trading is a one-dimensional job in which money is put ahead of creative, intellectual, or emotional satisfaction, and nothing matters other than proving yourself in competition to make more money. Women learn to ignore foul language and cease to be intimidated by it, learn to ignore sexist comments and suggestions, and a few are very successful. The author tells us that futures trading is a secret-handshake society, which continues to be a testosterone-saturated world where there is no room for boys much less women. The winner is the one who dies with the most toys, and "winning" is what this business is all about. Mary WhaleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved