In the past 80 years, stable institutions have given way to frictionless transactions, which are celebrated no matter what damage they cause. The concentration of great wealth has coincided with the fraying of social ties and the rise of inequality. How did this come about? Here Nicholas Lemann profiles three remarkable individuals who have shaped this transition: Adolf Berle, FDR's chief theorist of the economy; Michael Jensen, who insisted that firms should maximize shareholder value; and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, who hopes "networks" can reknit our social fabric. Going deeper, Lemann also chronicles the rise and fall of a working-class Chicago neighborhood and the family-run car dealerships at its heart.