In On Top of the World, Howard Lutnick and Tom Barbash tell the riveting story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the company located on the top floors of the World Trade Center that suffered the largest number of casualties in the September 11th attacks. Every member of CEO Howard Lutnick's young firm who was in the office that morning -- nearly 700 traders and salespeople, lawyers and accountants, 164 of his partners, including his brother Gary and his best friend Doug -- perished in the North Tower. Since then, his surviving employees have managed to keep their company alive against all odds, heroically rebuilding their business and their lives. This book also describes the journey that took charismatic and controversial CEO Howard Lutnick to the top of Wall Street by the age of 30, and is an examination of the wide swings in public sentiment that Howard and his firm faced as he tried to keep the public promises he and his partners made to his "700 families."
His was the voice and face that brought the tragedy of 9/11 home for much of the country, and the questions this book asks are ones all of us are thinking about. Can we rise up from these attacks and thereby defeat this terror? Can we become larger than ourselves? Can we become more compassionate without losing our edge? Howard is an icon, prosperous and revered, envied and resented -- now facing a new uncertain future, not unlike America itself.