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Reading: Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra Wolfe

Valley of the Gods: A Silicon Valley Story 


Monday, January 23 at 7:00pm
This event features Alexandra Wolfe in conversation with Casey Schwartz

In a riveting, hilarious account, reporter Alexandra Wolfe exposes a world that is not flat but bubbling—the men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world.

Each year, young people from around the world go to Silicon Valley to hatch an idea, start a company, strike it rich, and become powerful and famous. In The Valley of the Gods, Wolfe follows three of these upstarts who have “stopped out” of college and real life to live and work in Silicon Valley in the hopes of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. No one has yet documented the battle for the brightest kids, kids whose goals are no less than making billions of dollars—and the fight they wage in turn to make it there. They embody an American cultural transformation: A move away from the East Coast hierarchy of Ivy Leagues and country clubs toward the startup life and a new social order.

Meet the billionaires who go to training clubs for thirty-minute “body slams” designed to fit in with the start-up schedule; attend parties where people devour peanut butter-and-jelly sushi rolls; and date and seduce in a romantic culture in which thick glasses, baggy jeans, and a t-shirt is the costume of any sex symbol (and where a jacket and tie symbolize mediocrity). Through Wolfe’s eyes, we discover how they date and marry, how they dress and live, how they plot and dream, and how they have created a business world and an economic order that has made us all devotees of them.

A blistering, brilliant, and hysterical examination of this new ruling class, The Valley of the Gods presents tomorrow’s strange new normal where the only outward signs of tech success are laptops and ideas.

"[Wolfe] explores the particulars of the valley itself, where youth and high-profile failure can be badges of honor, and the concentrations of wealth and intelligence are staggering. With a detached and playful tone, fly-on-the-wall Wolfe catalogs the unique habits, dress, nutrition, and mating habits of the startup class.” —Booklist 
Alexandra Wolfe is a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and writes the weekly column “Weekend Confidential.” After graduating from Duke University, she worked as a staff reporter for the New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, and then Condé Nast Portfolio. As a freelancer, she wrote regular columns for Bloomberg Businessweek, features for Travel + Leisure and Departures, and has written cover stories for Vanity Fair and Town & Country. The Valley of the Gods is her first book.


Casey Schwartz has worked as a staff writer at Newsweek/The Daily Beast, where she covered neuroscience, psychology, and psychiatry. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times and The New York Sun. A graduate of Brown University, she also has a degree in psychodynamic developmental neuroscience from University College London. She was born and raised in New York, where she currently lives.
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