The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs Hardcover – October 7, 2008


See all 14 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.98 $0.01

There is a newer edition of this item:

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; 1St Edition edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594201897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594201899
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this history of investment bank Goldman Sachs, Ellis (Winning the Loser's Game) covers the same ground as Lisa Endlich's Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success—with notable stylistic differences. From Marcus Goldman's purchase of his first commercial paper in 1869 to the firm's current success, Ellis's account is lively and engaging where Endlich's is accurate but dry. Ellis sheds light on events through dialogue and detailed descriptions of people's thoughts and feelings, embellishments that the author terms recreations in his epilogue. The effect of infusing such narrative techniques into the history of Goldman Sachs is entertaining, but it pushes the envelope of nonfiction, especially since the author appears to have interviewed only former partners of the firm. More damagingly, Ellis fails to report much about actual business, and attempts to do so—such as a chapter on Rockefeller Center financing—require lengthy digressions and are incomprehensible due to the complexities of the transactions. Without links to business, boardroom conflicts take on the air of petty squabbles. More a composite memoir of senior Goldman partners than a traditional history, this book will satisfy readers curious about the philosophies and personalities of the firm. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ellis, the author of 14 books and managing partner of Greenwich Associates, a strategy-consulting firm, here provides a history of Goldman Sachs, which is arguably the most profitable and powerful investment bank in the world today. The firm began in 1885 as the partnership of two intermarrying families, but there was a rift early on; to this day, the two families are not on speaking terms. Nevertheless, through the expertise of the many partners through the years, the firm has pioneered virtually every area of finance: early in the twentieth century, they underwrote the initial stock offerings of companies such as Sears and Ford; they dominated institutional block trading in the 1970s, bonds and leveraged buyouts in the 1980s, and global finance in the 1990s. The book also chronicles the tough times the company has weathered, including the Great Depression, various market meltdowns, and insider trading scandals. Ellis touches on the mortgage crisis, which Goldman Sachs recognized early on and deftly avoided (unlike rivals such as Bear Stearns). Ellis has done a thorough job of researching the prestigious organization, providing a look at the many personalities that have made the famous name into what it is today. --David Siegfried

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

This is a well written book.
Bronco Bob
If you're looking for a great read with some very useful takeaways, I highly recommend reading this book.
Allan S. Roth
Please note, I do not attempt to review the full substance of this book, yet.
Trevor B. Mccann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By I hate Amazon on July 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating book, but the fact that it weighs in at nearly 700 pages shows that the editor was absent or lax. There's incredible repetition. For example, in one long paragraph, we learn that Goldman Sachs believed that "recruiting was the most important thing we could ever do." Moreover, "Recruiting people of exceptional talent...is vital to the success of any professional firm." We get the point, and don't need it belabored for eight sentences in the same paragraph. Examples like that abound.

The lousy editing is also seen when Ellis introduces characters in passing, without giving a sense of where they come from, or what their titles are. It would have been nice to have had a simple list of the senior partners or managing partners throughout the years.

It also would have been nice to have a glossary. Ellis is good at explaining that obscure financial instruments are complex--yet apparently they're so complex that even he doesn't understand them, because he sure doesn't explain them.

All of which leads to a question: Did any editor actually read the manuscript?
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Seth Hettena on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up The Partnership to try to understand what Charles Ellis rightly calls the "global juggernaut" that is Goldman Sachs. Goldman operates "with almost no external constraints in any financial market it chooses, on the terms it chooses, on the scale it chooses, when it chooses, and with the partners it chooses," Ellis writes in his dry study of the world's most powerful financial firm.

Ellis has been granted extraordinary access to Goldman's partners, including two former Treasury secretaries, a former undersecretary of State and a former chairman of the New York Federal Reserve. Ellis is the highly regarded founder of Greenwich Associates, a consulting firm that advises large institutional investors (and employs several Goldman alums). Opening up to an insider like Ellis was a smart move on Goldman's part, perhaps, but not for the poor reader who shells out $40 for this tome. It's as though Tiger Woods had commissioned his caddy to tell the story of his life.

As a result, despite the personalities behind Goldman, The Partnership is remarkably lacking in personality. Readers hoping to learn about the firm's modern reach and influence -- as I was -- have to slog through years of corporate history. Ellis doesn't have the narrative flair of William D. Cohan or Michael Lewis, and Goldman itself seems like a soulless place, where ambitious men sacrifice marriages and children in the hopes of someday joining the ranks of making partner and earning a fortune.

The view from competitors might have helped here by providing some much needed drama from those who have the scars from their battles with Goldman over the years. But there's no sense of fun or drama in The Partnership, only cold relentless striving, and the book reads like an official corporate history.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Hutton on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In his massive history of Goldman Sachs (over 700+ pages), Mr. Ellis gives a glowing and comprehensive history of the the investment bank. He writes as the insider he is (a former consultant to the firm) and is not as critical of Goldman Sachs as he could be. Founded nearly 150 years ago, he traces the firm's roots and growth, its downturns (the Depressions and the 1970's) and it re-intervention of itself repeatedly. The financial carnage of the past month is not covered obviously, but Goldman Sachs new survival has its origin in its 2007 decision to get out of the mortage business before the current crisis.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Trevor B. Mccann on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Please note, I do not attempt to review the full substance of this book, yet.

Only twenty-three pages into this book, it is readily apparent that Mr. Ellis is a terrible writer. Mr. Ellis begins the book with the story of the original Goldman Sachs partnership and its familial underpinnings. So poorly written, I was force to read, and reread, passages to understand relationships as simple as father-son, that Mr. Ellis could have easily made clear.

The very same mistakes were made during the introduction of Lehman Brothers. And again when discussing the split between the two firms.

I will forge on because I am interested in the story. And I will post a proper review when/if I am able to finish.

But be warned - Mr. Ellis is a TERRIBLE writer. And Penguin Publishing, please hire a capable editor.

Also, please note that The Economist (my main reason for buying the book), Business Week, Time, NY Times Book Review, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Bloomberg all gave very good to great reviews. I now wonder if these people read the book. I am disappointed in each of them.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Allan S. Roth on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Why does Goldman Sachs still have a $40 billion market capitalization while Lehman and Bear Stearns have become extinct? Charles Ellis answers that question and more in his latest book, The Partnership, as well as giving the reader an insider's view of what gave Goldman Sachs such an advantage. Like McKinsey & Company in consulting, Goldman Sachs walks the talk in hiring the right people and creating a culture that rewards long-term success.

This book takes an honest look at some of Goldman Sachs' missteps along the way, such as Long Term Capital Management, but also the considerable focus and discipline demonstrated in avoiding the easy short-term buck that seems to consistently blow up in our faces. Need I say more than AAA rated insured sub-prime derivative instruments?

It remains to be seen what the impact of the current financial crisis will be on Goldman Sachs. Regardless, this book shows why the death of investment banking may be a bit premature.

Charlie Ellis writes in his usual substantive yet engaging style. If you're looking for a great read with some very useful takeaways, I highly recommend reading this book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?