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Mind Without Fear

Narrated by: Rajat K. Gupta
Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For nine years, Rajat Gupta led McKinsey & Co. - the first foreign-born person to head the world’s most influential management consultancy. He was also the driving force behind major initiatives such as the Indian School of Business and the Public Health Foundation of India. A globally respected figure, he sat on the boards of distinguished philanthropic institutions such as the Gates Foundation and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and corporations including Goldman Sachs, American Airlines, and Procter & Gamble. 

In 2011, to the shock of the international business community, Gupta was arrested and charged with insider trading. Against the backdrop of public rage and recrimination that followed the financial crisis, he was found guilty and sentenced to two years in jail. Throughout his trial and imprisonment, Gupta has fought the charges and maintains his innocence to this day. 

In this book, Gupta recalls his unlikely rise from orphan to immigrant to international icon as well as his dramatic fall from grace. He writes movingly about his childhood losses, reflects on the challenges he faced as a student and young executive in the United States, and offers a rare inside glimpse into the elite and secretive culture of McKinsey, “the Firm”. And for the first time, he tells his side of the story in the scandal that destroyed his career and reputation. Candid, compelling, and poignant, Gupta’s memoir is much more than a courtroom drama; it is an extraordinary tale of human resilience and personal growth.  

©2019 Rajat K. Gupta (P)2019 Rajat K. Gupta

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  • Old Monk
  • 29-04-2019

It ain't so Joe

I had to apologize for recommending Rajat Gupta’s book to friends after having heard only the fist 2 hours. The book fell flat after that and turned into a banal recounting of his life story which has been told in a much shorter form in countless articles both in the west and in India. I personally thought Billionaires Apprentice was a much better book, more pacy and told multiple sides of the story with many more characters and left the reader to decide if he did it. After listening to Rajat’s book I’m not sure I’ve been enlightened more that before. If I was to score the audiobook, I’ll give it highest marks for delivery. He has read it well for a first time performer. But other than that. It’s a flat 2 on plot. I’ll also give his publisher, high marks for getting the audiobook out and more importantly for getting him to read it himself (although I have a feeling he wanted to tell his story after not having testified at the trail). The promotion of the book has been relentless in India with Rajat giving hourlong interviews to every notable journalist and news outlet. While most interviews have been sympathetic and hence more about his sob story and book promotion, I found Madhu Trehan’s interview on Newslaundry more balanced (bit leaning on the critical and questioning side) and worth watching.

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  • Vivek Vishwakarma
  • 07-04-2020

Inspirational

Its a good read. very well narrated and detailed insight about life of Rajat Gupta.

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  • Anil Maheshwari
  • 16-03-2020

Great book on Mind and the Times of an exceptionally accomplished person

I finished listening to Rajat Gupta’s memoir ‘Mind without Fear’ in just two sessions. It is a compelling story. He had the good luck to be the right person in the right place to become first non (white) American managing director of MicKinsey & Co, when the firm was ripe to go global. He was the wrong guy at the wrong time when he entered the financial markets with the wrong guy, and got the wrong overzealous prosecutor thus getting jailed for two years. He draws inspiration from his father who was an ICS officer but resigned Gandhiji’s call for freedom and was jailed and beaten mercilessly with permanent damage. He also draws inspiration from Rabindranath Tagore, whose beautiful poetry threads the book and gives it the title of Mind without Fear. He also draws solace from his strong family and the many friends who stood with him and believed his story. He however deeply regrets not taking the stand and testifying in his own trial, as he received overwhelming advice from his lawyers and his family that allowing the prosecutor to question him directly will be too risky. At the end of it all, he comes out of the ordeal with his head held high, without much bitterness for those who deserted him including the McKinsey firm who dismissed him summarily and took his name off their alumni list.

I believe Rajat Gupta’s story, as I have done over the years. He is a fellow IITD alumnus ten years my senior. I met him at Pan-IIT meets in 2007 and 2009. He looked handsome and seemed very honest and a good listener. I do remember some of the stories of the next few years as the attorney Preet Bharara with political ambitions set his sights on a fellow successful Indian. There was a story in the Indian press about Preet Bharara and Dr Sanjay Gupta, whose moms knew each other from India, about who is doing better in the US. I recall a feeling of a certain revulsion at that approach to achieving success by beating down an iconic fellow Indian. Some of my well-meaning friends however felt at that time that greed and power had gotten the better of Rajat Gupta.

Rajat Gupta has done much good work including seting up Indian School of Business and the Public Health Foundation of India. He also started the Global Fund against three major diseases. These inspirational stories are laid out in great detail in the book. That alone makes the book worthy of attention. What the book does not tell is that none other than Narayana Murthy, the founder of Infosys, compared Rajat Gupta with Jawaharlal Nehru for having started two world class organizations in India. I also salute Rajat for his great work. May God grant him strength to continue his good work. He wants to work on the American penal system which he observed from the inside and found deeply lacking. He should write a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, the book that he read during his incarceration and which helped him come out stronger, with malice towards none and with his head held high.

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  • Sy Wafflewitz
  • 07-12-2019

Phenomenal listen

really everything you would want In A Book Like This brutally honest interesting and absolutely riveting.

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  • E. Conroy
  • 02-11-2019

Redundant and self-pitying

I have read nearly a dozen books related to the 2008 insider trading trials; this one is my least favorite. I admire Mr. Gupta and worked with some of the related firms during the subprime crisis, but after the first few hours, he sounds smug and indignant. Instead of telling his story and pleading for change, he sounds entitled and repeated his insistence of innocence and blamed everything around him: Raj, the prosecution, his own lawyers, the media (especially the media). Mr. Gupta relies incessantly on his credentials and connections as though that alone should place him above suspicion. Mr. Gupta did an excellent job for a first time narrator, but his editors did not do him justice by keeping in some of the written material.

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  • Sudhir
  • 20-08-2019

An amazing story!

An amazing read. Very impressive story telling. Pretty emotional too.

Totally nitpicking but the one thing which you got wrong (I think) was your grand dad giving two rupees from under the bed for sweets. Assuming that was appx 60 years ago - 2 rupees in Calcutta would have been a lot for sweets.

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  • Abhirup Choudhury
  • 25-07-2019

truly inspiring!

Loved it! Hearing the words spoken by the author himself makes the narrative quite relatable.

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  • Anil H
  • 23-06-2019

Honest and Inspirational

Mr. Gupta's career and professional acheivements have always been inspirational and motivational, so have been his tireless pursuits for human welfare.

This book seems to be very honest and I have a sense of beleif he did not commit the crime he was convicted for.

I greatly admire is his profound sense of persevarance, deriving spiritual optimism and spiritual intelligence from Bhagavad Geeta, ultimately emerging from the difficult sentence like a winner.

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  • Rishabh Parakh
  • 04-05-2019

Excellent narration and story

Rajat Gupta, one of the most successful Indian immigrants to the US, narrates a gripping and insightful life story of his incarceration and US justice system. He deeps dive into how the SEC framed him unjustly in insider trading while ignoring the main banker culprits.

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  • China Doll
  • 20-04-2019

And incredible well told journey

I retired from professional services, Price WaterhouseCoopers, LLP 15 years ago. Having worked in this industry as a business management consultant for many years, I understand how difficult and grueling every day life can be under the incredible, high stakes microscope of Fortune 50 leadership. This book and the phenomenal experience Rajat Gupta expresses through his soul and spirit, rise and fall from grace is both a joy and a crushing heartbreak to read. This is a story that is can only be made in America, well written, reads like a mystery novel an autobiography and a tale that will provide a basic contempt for our legal system just by listening. It’s a real and quite astonishing insight into the financial devastation of this past decade, Wall Street players and the natural downfall of many perpetuated by greed and distrust. This amazing leader whose reputation preceded him in every major institution became a victim torn to shreds albeit for the exception of his Mind Without Fear. Loved his steady narration. Certainly no one could have told the story with the passion, perspective and conviction that he did. Each chapter left me wanting to know what happened next, in his own words and whether or not Rajat Gupta came out whole. Read it and find out. Answers to a lot of question for me and our colleagues. A look into the world of business management consultants working in rare air and what that life is like, why the stakes are higher and how it must feel to free fall.

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  • vivek menon
  • 31-12-2019

Honest, sincere and calming

Mr. Gupta’s account of his life, career and misdemeanours touches a chord. Anarchy of destiny best articulates the feeling for me. However the positive take away has been the strength he derives during his stint at the prison. A definitive must read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-08-2019

speechless

a journey it has been listening to it in his own voice. God bless sir

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  • Anne
  • 26-07-2019

This is an inspiring and valuable book. Thank you for writing your story, Rajat!

Some 37 years ago, Rajat interviewed and ultimately hired me for a support staff job at McKinsey Copenhagen. Over the years when contemplating my work history, I often thought of Rajat as being instrumental in terms of how I viewed leadership and the thoughts I had about myself in relation to work ethics, developing myself as a professsional and how I wanted to be in terms of contributing to the team I was a part of. So - needless to say - I was deeply alarmed when I learned through the annual McKinsey alumni get-togethers that Rajat had been convicted of insider trading. I could not really believe it - as I felt his character was not that of a greedy inside trader, but rather that of a humanitarian wanting to use his power and influence to do good. But I did not know. So I am deeply relieved to know what is the truth - and I totally believe that Rajat is innocent of the crimes he has been accused of. I marvel at Rajat’s thinking and his cultivation of his inner, spiritual journey during the last decade where he and his family have had to endure such atrocities. It is truly a mind without fear that will endure such inhumane acts from fellow human beings and still maintain his dignity, love and insistence on doing good in the world. What an inspiration!

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  • A S
  • 21-04-2019

Great Biography

A true icon. So glad that I listened to the audiobook narrated by the man himself.