Mandelbrot deploys his genius in order to help an aristocrat maintain the family horse farm while a war rages in the background. Carnegie uses animals to endear the reader to people – and the olfactory descriptions of a young Dr. Mandelbrot amidst equestrians is powerful imagery.
“Nobody ever listens to me, but you did. And you remembered everything. You can’t be altogether bad.” Chapter 6, Location 1242
Mandelbrot takes a page out of the Carnegie playbook from How to Win Friends and Influence People.
“Horse owning Gentry thought Germany would win, “I cajoled them, first to listen to Swiss radio in French, then to France Libre in London.”” Chapter 6, Location 1298
From a persuasion standpoint, Mandelbrot was pacing his gentrified hosts to understand there were more possibilities about what might happen with the war.
Page by Page
Locations 1226 – 1310
“My boss, a kind old farmer, told me that he was better off without my help. I agreed.”
1242 – 46
“M. de Rivière again became animated: “In 1913, my horse Phoebus won the …” I interrupted and recited the horse’s pedigree without one mistake. “Ça, par exemple! Nobody ever listens to me, but you did. And you remembered everything. You can’t be altogether bad.”
“Jules knows everything about horses,” he said, “and you know nothing. But he is a thief, and you look honest. I take you, and you can continue to eat at the master’s table with us.”
The list of horse names at the farm where Mandelbrot worked:
- Phoebus and the Sun.
- Madelon- draft horse.
- Rêveuse and Respectueuse – breeding mares.
- Union Sacrée,
- Aphrodite and Apollo – the foals
“Many horses brought together on a muddy field emit a stench—and neighing noises—that I still remember as I write.”
“Horse owning Gentry thought Germany would win, “I cajoled them, first to listen to Swiss radio in French, then to France Libre in London.””
“Incidentally, the patronymic de Gaulle is not aristocratic; in Flemish (the tongue of northern Belgium and France), it means “the horse.”
“One final irony—our horses were either not broken in or too old, so I never learned to ride.”