Seven Brief Lessons of Physics

by Stephen Schwarzman

I’m not too sure how I would describe this book. Sitting down to write a review roughly 3-4 days after I finished the book, I’m having trouble finding the right words.

On the one hand, I feel that the book was incredibly insightful but these insights are locked behind this thin silk sheet that obsures the most important details. It’s like trying to read a sign without glasses. You know there’s something of importance here, you can make out the meaning of the sign, but you just can’t read the words to truly understand it. That’s exactly what this book was to me. Perhaps it was the fact that the book had been primarily written by Philip Broughton who didn’t personally experience the ups and downs of Schwarzman’s career first hand or perhaps it was because the book had an incredible amount of ground to cover in a couple hundred short pages.

Regardless, in reading the book, I got a clear understanding of the broad strokes of Schwarzman’s career and empire at Blackstone. As one of the largest private equity firms in the world, Blackstone’s ups and downs are clearly outlined in the book. But with only a couple pages dedicated to each up or down, well, there’s not much depth to any of the events. To put a comparison, the book is half of a highlight reel.

Among the words are definitely nuggets of truth but without a solid foundation of context, there was no meaning attached to these words of wisdom. They were just generally good pieces of advice.


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