Posts Tagged ‘Biography’

Book Reviews: 3 Business Biographies

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

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Three engaging new books capture the success and significance of larger-than-life businessmen, Sir Thomas Lipman, Albert Lasker and Felix Rohatyn.

D’Antonio, Michael. A full cup : Sir Thomas Lipton’s extraordinary life and his quest for the America’s Cup. Riverhead Books, 2010.

A self-made man and millionaire tea baron became the first celebrity CEO through endless self-promotion.  In the last half of his life, he allowed his business to erode while he sought fame in yachting.

Cruikshank, Jeffrey L. The man who sold America : the amazing (but true!) story of Albert D. Lasker and the creation of the advertising century. Harvard Business Review Press, 2010.

A portrait of the man who took the concept “Advertising is salesmanship in print,” and created the most powerful advertising agency in the world, turning brands like Sunkist, Kleenex and Lucky Strike into household names.

Rohatyn, Felix G. Dealings : a political and financial life. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

A personal account of a Jewish boy who escaped Nazi-occupied France in 1940 and grew up to become CEO of Lazard Freres, which transformed the entertainment industry through M&A.  Later in life he saved NYC from bankruptcy and then returned to France as US ambassador.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Review: Valley Boy

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

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Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins by Tom Perkins. Gotham Book, 2007.

Tom Perkins was a self described electrical engineering nerd at MIT. He later found his calling at Harvard B-School when he discovered his instinct for business and also spent more time with wine glasses than transistors. Although Perkins became an extremely successful venture capitalist, don’t look to Perkins for a formula, rules, and secrets to success.

Rather, he takes you on a personal journey to his success through chapters of his life. Although Perkins has a passion for toys owning a submarine, the largest privately owned sailboat, and fast and vintage cars, it’s his passions for life and learning that he credits to his outside the box success.

In this selective autobiography, he shares his experiences as a biotech executive, a board member of Hewlett-Packard and the ousting of Carly Fiorina, his trial for manslaughter in France, and forming the Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner & Perkins that pioneered genetically engineered drugs and ultimately the biotech industry.

Perhaps his most surprising teacher was Danielle Steel with whom he had a brief marriage. Subsequently, he also wrote a novel based on his life. For the real story, he could have easily chosen a more businessy title such as “What I didn’t Learn at Harvard B-School.” She has also influenced Valley Boy, as his style for sharing life’s lessons and creating your own opportunities makes this book read more like an entertaining novel than an autobiography.

Guest reviewer Randy Mayes is a Duke Alumni, author, science writer, and science policy analyst.

© Randall Mayes and Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Book Review: New Titles on Peter Drucker

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

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Cohen, William A. A Class with Drucker: The lost lessons of the world’s greatest management teacher. AMACOM, 2007.

Edersheim, Elizabeth Haas. The Definitive Drucker. McGraw-Hill, 2007.

Peter Drucker is widely respected as one of the great thinkers on management. Throughout his career as teacher, writer, and philosopher he inspired students and business leaders alike with countless books and articles, lectures in the classroom, and informal conversations with friends and colleagues. Since his death in November 2005, several new books have been published, highlighting his wisdom, creativity and humor.

In A Class with Drucker, William Cohen shares stories and insights into Peter Drucker’s teaching methods, his inspiring ideas and his life experiences. He also relates personal anecdotes about Drucker and his life. As a PhD student at Claremont University, Cohen studied under Drucker, who was a gifted and passionate teacher. Cohen maintained a lifelong friendship with his mentor and created a personal tribute to the man who changed his life.