16Roots, Not Branches

Reynold Levy has the rounded shoulders and gray mien of someone who spends untold hours in a comfortable armchair, spectacles perched on the end of his nose, reading some thick tome. It’s a mistaken impression. He does read a lot, usually following ten or twelve hours at his day job. But he’s anything but a monkish recluse. He counts among his closest friends a long list of bold-faced names from the worlds of business, finance, the arts, and politics.

Standing in conversation, he is likely to wrap his arms around his torso, hugging himself, as if to better control the torrent of perfectly constructed sentences that flow from his mouth in a quiet, mellifluous tone. Many of those sentences are in the form of rhetorical questions, ...

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