Over the Christmas holiday, I saw Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which tells the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), the drug-addicted stockbroker who made millions defrauding investors, laundering money, and manipulating the market. I also saw the buzzy new production of Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Theater (reviewed in these pages by Kevin Williamson in January). While Macbeth is undone by his ambition, and loses everything in his pursuit of power, including his own life, Jordan Belfort’s story unfolded quite differently.

Belfort was born in 1962 and grew up in Bayside, Queens, the son of two Jewish accountants. His mother wanted nothing more than for Jordan to become a doctor. But on the day of his medical boards, Belfort overslept “because [he] had done too many drugs the night before.” So he...


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