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$13.96 $8.90 list($19.95)
1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
$19.77 $19.76 list($29.95)
2. My Life as a Quant : Reflections
$10.88 $7.60 list($16.00)
3. The Smartest Guys In The Room:
$16.47 $14.88 list($24.95)
4. iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest
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5. Confessions of an Economic Hit
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6. Liar's Poker: Rising Through the
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7. Jack: Straight from the Gut
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8. Mr. China : A Memoir
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9. Pour Your Heart into It : How
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10. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie,
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11. Buffett : The Making of an American
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12. License to Deal : A Year on the
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13. Confessions of a Street Addict
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14. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller,
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15. The Warren Buffett Way, Second
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16. Confessions of an Advertising
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17. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way:
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18. Sam Walton : Made In America
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19. The House of Morgan: An American
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20. The Hypomanic Edge : The Link

1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (A Marketplace Book)
by EdwinLefèvre, Marketplace Books
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471059706
Catlog: Book (1994-05-11)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 1620
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Stock investing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the inventory of true classics is somewhat slim. When asked, people in the know will always list books by Benjamin Graham, Burton G. Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. Fisher. You'll know you're getting really good advice if they also mention Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore, a remarkable character who first started speculating in New England bucket shops at the turn of the century. Livermore, who was banned from these shady operations because of his winning ways, soon moved to Wall Street where he made and lost his fortune several times over. What makes this book so valuable are the observations that Lefèvre records about investing, speculating, and the nature of the market itself. For example:

"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon."

If you've ever spent weekends and nights puzzling over whether to buy, sell, or hold a position in whatever investment--be it stock, bonds, or pork bellies, you'll be glad that you read this book. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is full of lessons that are as relevant today as they were in 1923 when the book was first published. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting but not particularly useful...
I have read this book several times and always find it entertaining. The psychology of the markets is, I guess, always fairly similar; however, this book will not make you a dime. Do not buy this book if you think that you will learn valuable money making insights by reading it.

The worth in this book is in the entertainment value. Experienced traders will relate to certain events and conditions mentioned in this book (at least I do). Really, this book is a just a novel for traders that transcends generations in terms of relevance.

Victor Niederhoffer heavily borrowed from this book when he wrote "Education of a Speculator." In that book, he basically said that he would not give up his trading secrets for the price of a book. What came about was a biography on the basics of how he developed his mind of a successful trader. That is the essence of "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator:" how Edwin LeFevre developed his trading mind.

Will a neophite leap frog elemental educational experience in the financial markets by instead reading this book? I think not. The neophite will also not learn of a succesful money making strategy by reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is my "bible" of investing
I have a library of nearly 100 books about the markets. Reminiscences was the third book I ever read and it remains my "bible" more than a decade later. You might wonder how an 80-year old book about the stock market could still be relevant. Well, that is because financial markets are determined by human nature as much as anything else, and human nature acts today as it did a century ago. Greed, fear, herd thinking, impatience - those are the same influences that drive markets today and haunt traders and investors who are striving to make the right decisions. Many of the lessons that dictate my investment philosophy ("Cut your losses, let your winners run", "if you don't like the odds, don't bet") were taught to me by the protagonist, who is the fictional characterization of the legendary Jesse Livermore. That he tells his stories with such color and suspense makes the book completely entertaining beyond its invaluable trading lessons. BUY THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. BUY ANOTHER ONE FOR A FRIEND (I've given 4 copies). You'll not only improve your own investing results, but your gift will impress as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I bought this book after it was mentioned on the book Market Wizards. After I finished reading it, I found myself going back to it over and over again. This is a must read book for anyone that is really interesting in how the trading markets work in real life. It's brilliant, funny... Great!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated Yet Insightful
This book's contribution to the literature of the financial markets is incontrovertible. For an investing public starved of trading wisdom in a pre-Markowitz era when stock traders relied more or less on rules of thumb, "Reminiscences" stood out as a true gem. It should be read both as a source of profound insight into the workings of financial markets past and present, and as a critique of speculative activity in the years prior to the bursting of the stock market bubble in 1929.

One of the most important lessons mentioned in the book is that a trader does not have to be invested in the market all the time. It sounds hackneyed today, but this tenet is actually difficult to follow in practice, given the propensity of traders and investors to ride out losing positions.

It is important to remember that, having been written during a massive bull run and prior to the systemic failure of the stock market in 1929, during which the market's 'boundless hope and optimism', as described in Galbraith's "The Great Crash 1929", run roughshod over sentiments that the markets were overheating, "Reminiscences" should be read with an eye towards portfolio preservation, not injudicious speculation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardcover Marketplace Book version worth the price ?
Wonderful book.
However I wanted a version printed on good paper so it would last a long time.
I bought a very costly hardcover Marketplace copy, just to discover that it was printed on weak paper.
It probably is just the paperback version with a hardcover, for which a 4.5 times the paperback price tag is quite rich. ... Read more


2. My Life as a Quant : Reflections on Physics and Finance
by EmanuelDerman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471394203
Catlog: Book (2004-09-17)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 1360
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Book Description

"Derman’s memoir of his transition from mathematical physicist to expert finance whiz at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers reads like a novel, but tells a lot about brains applied to making money grow."
–Paul A. Samuelson, MIT, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, 1970

"Not only a delightful memoir, but one full of information, both about people and their enterprise. I never thought that I would be interested in quantitative financial analysis, but reading this book has been a fascinating education."
–Jeremy Bernstein, author of Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma

"This wonderful autobiography takes place in that special time when scientists discovered Wall Street and Wall Street discovered them.It is elegantly written by a gifted observer who was a pioneering member of the new profession of financial engineering, with an evident affection both for finance as a science and for the scientists who practice it.Derman’s portrait of how the academics brought their new financial science to the world of business and forever changed it and, especially, his descriptions of the late and extraordinary genius Fischer Black who became his mentor, reveal a surprising humanity where it might be least expected.Who should read this book?Anyone with a serious interest in finance and everyone who simply wants to enjoy a good read."
–Stephen Ross, Franco Modigliani Professor of Finance and Economics, Sloan School, MIT

" … a deep and elegant exploration by a thinker who moved from the hardest of all sciences (physics) to the softest of the soft (finance). Derman is a different class of thinker; unlike most financial economists, he bears no physics envy and focuses on exploring the real intuitions behind the mechanisms themselves. In addition to stories and portraits, the book documents, in vivid detail, the methods of knowledge transfer. I know of no other book that bridges the two cultures. Finally, I am happy to discover that Derman has a third career: he is a writer."
–Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness

"The quintessential quarky quant, Emanuel Derman has it all.Physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and poet blend together to produce a narrative that all financial engineers will find worth reading."
–Mark Rubinstein, Paul Stephens Professor of Applied Investment Analysis, University of California, Berkeley ... Read more


3. The Smartest Guys In The Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
by Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591840538
Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
Publisher: Portfolio
Sales Rank: 8017
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Just as Watergate was the defining political story of its time, so Enron is thebiggest business story of our time. And just as All the President’s Menwas the one Watergate book that gave readers the full story, with all the dramaand nuance, The Smartest Guys in the Room is the one book you have toread to understand this amazing business saga. ... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Exorcist" for Business Readers
This book scared the hell out of me. With the scandals at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, etc., one has to ask - "Where Else?"

While it focuses on the people and personalities directing Enron, the book very rightly points out that this Ponzi-Scheme of a company could never have existed if not for the complicity, corruption and willful ignorance of individuals and organizations who were supposed to act as checks and balances. Simply put, Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling & Andrew Fastow were able to bully, buy or dupe the following:

1. The Enron Board, who questioned almost nothing.
2. Arthur Andersen, who was corrupted by large consulting fees, and the "glamor" that was Enron.
3. Wall Street Equity Analysts, who were long ago compromised.
4. Large commercial banks, who allowed themselves to be played like violins by Fastow.
5. The business press, who with rare exception, acted as cheerleaders for Enron.
6. Debt-Rating agencies such as Moody's and S&P for shallow due dilligence.

Make no mistake, this is a horror story. So much loss and pain due to extremely bright folks with no moral compass! Throughout the book, I found myself asking "can an organization this unethical, cutthroat and STUPID have really existed?" I didn't know if I should be outraged or horribly depressed (BOTH!). If I had a critisim of the book, it would be that it should have contained an appendix that illustrated the financial position (on-balance sheet & total) to help readers fully comprehend the magnitude of what went on.

I recommend this book to anyone who owns more than $10 in stock.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not For Lay People
There's blame galore to go around for the spectacular downfall of Enron Corp in that sober year of 2001. Accountants, rating agencies, regulators, lawyers, consultants, bankers--and these are just the bad actors outside the corporation. Look inside, where Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind treat their readers to a thorough journalistic scouring, and the smell of the rot almost wafts off the pages.

The authors rightly spend the vast majority of the book examining the personalities and circumstances that allowed the company to become what it was at the end of its life. Mix a potion that's one part hardscrabble Harvard MBAs, one part energy deregulation, and one part hysterical bull market, and you've got a financial molotov cocktail. Sadly, as we all know now, it was largely the little guy who paid the price for all the hubris of the players in this story, a fact that tends to get lost in the authors' painstaking recreation of the most complicated shell game in history.

But the story of Enron's fallout could provide the material for a whole other book. In this one we get the tale of the players, people like Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Rebecca Mark and Andy Fastow, all filled with an equal mix of remarkable brilliance and fatal arrogance. All are indicted by these authors as rabid players in a game they made up themselves, deeming themselves beyond the petty world of rules and regulation. But coming in for equal excoriation is the system itself, the web of enablement and intimidation that allowed Andy Fastow to quietly hammer together the company's coffin in the form of a maze of phantom accounting entities designed to prop of the appearance of the corpse inside. The most unnerving theme the book treats indirectly is the effect of mass psychology--the way exceptional personalities distort and transform reality on a systemic scale. And it offers little in the way of how something like this could ever be prevented in the future.

One word of warning for people not acquainted with basic finance: this is a complicated story, about erstwhile geniuses in the arcane use of financial products and regulatory loopholes. Though it's enjoyable even if one can't follow every detour down each accounting scheme, some knowledge of Wall Street and its workings seems necessary to understand the implications of the book overall. Given the fact that most experts didn't understand what went on here, the authors do their best to keep things as simple as possible, often using helpful metaphors and simple summations after a few pages of analysis, but they have no choice but to assume a level of sophistication among their readers.

Which leads to one gripe. In "The Smartest Guys In the Room" not a single institution or individual player involved with Enron escapes the authors' finger-pointing notice, with but one exception. Where were the journalists in all this? Why did short-sellers have to be the ones to ask all the tough questions? Bethany Mclean should take understandable pride in being the first one to pry the door open on Enron's malfeasance, but she was just a little late. One would think that with the mass of financial journalists on CNBC, the Journal, the Times, etc., that just one would have bucked the collective cheering squad and dug deeper into what this supposedly invincible company was up to. But of course, this was the bull market. A time when everyone was exuberant when they should have been scared.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for the non-sceptic
My blood ran cold reading of how long the officers of this firm managed to pull the wool over the investment community's eyes, aided and abetted by the deleriction of duty of those in whom we trust (and pay hansomely) to guard against such crooks. If there was ever a book to convince investors to do their own homework and to think independently, this is it. A well written and an engaging read. Well worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Are These Guys
I chose the above title quote from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" to highlight my review. The authors provide a biography of many of the Enron players that lets us know what these guys were all about at their core. For example, Jeff Skilling spent almost all his after-school time working at a television station. Yet, he went to college without a dime because he blew all his pay in the stock market-buying stocks on margin. Never mind though because he got an impressive academic scholarship anyway because of his "brilliance." The authors provide other telling stories about the other major players. Ken Lay, the Baptist preacher's boy who preached exemplary corporate values, had an affair with his secretary, and later divorced his first wife to marry her. Yes, this is the same lady who went on television complaining about being broke while her family still owned millions of dollars in real estate. Lay's number two guy-not Skilling-who shacked up with a different Ken Lay secretary at Enron, costing himself annointment as Lay's successor. By the way, this guy now is a billionaire. Having that affair with Lay's secretary, later marrying her, was the smartest thing he ever did because he left Enron to found his own high-flying energy company. Rebecca Mark got a leg up from another Enron mentor by having a tempestous affair with him. The stories like this go on and on.

The authors provide far more detail about company history and the accounting conspiracies that brought it down. As a professional accountant, I am even more convinced now that Arthur Andersen deserved to fail for approving many of the tricks that Enron used to book fictitious profits. The authors point out that near the end, nearly 85% of Enron's total debt wasn't on their books, but "lay" in off balance sheet special purpose entities. The auditors couldn't understand the meaning of the standard sentence in an audit report that states that the financial statements "present fairly the financial condition and operations of Enron in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles." They over emphasized generally accepted accounting principles and ignored the term "present fairly." Good riddance to them.

The authors certainly are not admirers of Skilling, Fastow, or most of the other Enron players. For example they say of Skilling in their Epilogue, "He does not seem to have any remorse about his own actions, any sense that he hired the wrong people, got into the wrong businesses, or emphasized the wrong values. The fault, in his view, lies in a world that did not and will not appreciate the sheer newness of what Enron was trying to do." At the end, Jesse Jackson-yes that Jesse-held prayer meetings in the hall to comfort the afflicted who suddenly realized they needed forgiveness. Skilling didn't attend. I hope Jesse says a few prayers to protect Jeff while he's in prison. He'll need them, as well as a lifetime supply of "soap on a rope."

Certain Enron principals flew to their bankruptcy hearing in their mega-bucks Gulfstream 5 executive jet and stayed at the plush Four Seasons in Manhattan. As one of the offending executives said, "Maybe we should have flown on Southwest and stayed at the Ramada." In short, yes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity
Excellent journalism and very well articulated research from McLean and Elkind make this a gripping read for anyone who wants to understand the forces that drive corporate greed. Banks, rating agencies, lawyers and accountants are not spared in what is a scathing criticism of profitability over ethics and plain common sense. What disapponted me, however, was the authors' obvious decision to skim over the political elements of the whole scandal. Kenneth Lay was one of the single largest individual contributors to the Bush campaign in 2000 and also made available corporate resources, such as company jets, on numerous occasions. Dick Cheney had secret meetings with company executives at a time that the wheels were beginning to fall off and it is impossible to believe that this was all innocuous, although in the rare instances that the authors refer to such events, they will have you believe that this was the case. Time will hopefully still reveal more about the murky political dealings of Enron, but it is a crying shame that this otherwise very well written book is not a place where you will learn anything at all about that dimension, despite there being no shortage of facts to be found elsewhere in the public domain. ... Read more


4. iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
by Jeffrey S.Young, William L.Simon
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471720836
Catlog: Book (2005-05-13)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 234
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lightning never strikes twice, but Steve Jobs has, transforming modern culture first with the Macintosh and more recently with the iPod. He has dazzled and delighted audiences with his Pixar movies. And he has bedeviled, destroyed, and demoralized hundreds of people along the way. Steve Jobs is the most interesting character of the digital age.

What a long, strange journey it has been. With the mainstream success of the iPod, Pixar's string of hits and subsequent divorce from Disney, and Steve's triumphant return to Apple, his story is better than any fiction. Ten years after the leading maverick of the computer age and the king of digital cool, crashed from the height of Apple's meteoric rise, Steve Jobs rose from ashes in a Machiavellian coup that only he could have orchestrated-and has now become more famous than ever.

In this encore to his classic 1987 unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs-a major bestseller- Jeffrey Young examines Jobs' remarkable resurgence, one of the most amazing business comeback stories in recent years. Drawing on a wide range of sources in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, he details how Jobs put Apple back on track, first with the iMac and then with the iPod, and traces Jobs' role in the remarkable rise of the Pixar animation studio, including his rancorous feud with Disney's Michael Eisner.

  • Written with insider scoops and no-holds-barred style
  • Based on hundreds of highly unauthorized interviews with Jobs' nearest and dearest
  • New information on the acrimonious parting between Eisner and Jobs, the personal vendetta behind the return to Apple, and the future of iPod and the music industry
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Have a Very Favorable Opinion of Mr. Jobs Now
After reading this book I have come away with a much more favorable opinion of Steve Jobs.He is the flawed hero type.I found this to be a very enlightening and motivating story.Steve Jobs is the epiteme of the New Age American Dream, a no hoper rising to the top and changing the way everybody sees things.

The truth about the reality distortion field theory is that Jobs doesn't let reality affect him.Rather he is in control of his own reality and he changes it when necessary.It's much easier to change the world when you think it is revolving around you.It's that kind of self-centered focus that many of the world's greatest minds exhibit.Many geniuses are hard to get along with and communicate to, Steve Jobs is no exception.

4-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Book Title
I can't imagine the Apple folks being happy with the title of the book. Is it:

a) iCon -- a symbol or emblem?
b) iCon -- as in "I've conned you into buying a Mac."
c) all of the above.

Somebody's in trouble somewhere...

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent sundeck reading
While completing a website: www.linuxfree.net A friend pass this title along to me. Excellent read. Just five years ago Mac was just another bland corporate player. Since the inclusion of (smooth) well-developed and managed unix, the apple family has finally begun to stir well-deserved praise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lighten up, Steve.
You would think, with all the fuss Steve Jobs is making about this new release, that it would be the worst hatchet job since "Wired" massacered the late John Bulushi.
In actuality, the approach to the project was even-handed to a fault. William Simon brings his forminable experience with these business giant profiles to the table. His signature combination of terse and flavorful makes for excellent reading.
As the episodes unfold, the Steve Jobs onion is peeled away for the reader to view the admirable along with the not-so-admirable. Great stuff!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I've long been intrigued by the Steve Jobs story as well as the early days of company-building and conflict between he and Bill Gates. This book is a real page-turner as it explores the connection between the technology, consumer-focused brand building and the psyche of the man behind it all. Jobs is a fascinating character and the author's representation of his story is better than fiction.

Another new book I enjoyed recently which has fun analysis of public figures is "The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book." This one also has a cool online application that lets you test your emotional intelligence and learn about it via clips from movies. Fun stuff. ... Read more


5. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
by John Perkins
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1576753018
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Sales Rank: 386
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Book Description

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man reveals a game that, according to John Perkins, is "as old as Empire" but has taken on new and terrifying dimensions in an era of globalization. And Perkins should know. For many years he worked for an international consulting firm where his main job was to convince LDCs (less developed countries) around the world to accept multibillion-dollar loans for infrastructure projects and to see to it that most of this money ended up at Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root, and other United States engineering and construction companies. This book, which many people warned Perkins not to write, is a blistering attack on a little-known phenomenon that has had dire consequences on both the victimized countries and the U.S. ... Read more


6. Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street
by Michael Lewis
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140143459
Catlog: Book (1990-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 2179
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (148)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read, if you are thinking of working on Wall St
I worked for CSFB for three years, and am still in investment banking for a smaller firm. So I have seen a part of the world that is described here. I'm not saying that this is an exact description of what I saw, because Lewis picks the most exotic creatures that he met, but the atmosphere is perfectly conveyed. This book will tell you all the stuff that they don't teach you in an interview or recruitment visit - the pecking order, the politics, and how to get paid.

The other reason to read this is that Lewis is a brilliant writer, with a real talent for describing people and their situations. Lots of other people have written boring books with the same raw material. For a non-specialist like my mother, the technicalities were hard work, but you don't need a lot of special knowledge to like this book. My mother certainly did.

Probably the best way to look at this book is like a travel book - you're not visiting a country, you're visiting a world. Great travel books are not word-perfect descriptions of a place, they are representations of what the author felt like when he was there, and they give the reader a feeling of what it was like to be there. If you read this book, you will understand what it feels like to work inside a big bank, and you'll enjoy the ride, even if you have no interest in actually working there.

3-0 out of 5 stars Obvious Cry Baby
I want you to realize that Michael Lewis is only one perspective albeit a very biased and skewed one at that. If you speak to any one who worked at Salomon they will bluntly tell you that the book is not completely factual. Michael Lewis has an agenda, and it is very obvious that he has it in for the Salomon and Wall Street traders. And, he is willing to bend the truth and exagerate things to make the people look like monsters. Using the endearing term of Human Pirhana speaks to this point. I loved the book, because it gives you somewhat of a perspective on the life of traders, but I don't think you truly know what it is you're up against until you go and do actual trading. I wouldn't believe everything you read in Liar's Poker, and I would weigh each word carefully, because Meriweather isn't the only playing Liar's Poker here. Enjoy, and don't let the book discourage you from hedge funds and investment banking, especially if you really love finance.

4-0 out of 5 stars An insider's view of Solly
'Liar's Poker' is worth a read if you want an insider's account of life on Wall Street. The book doesn't pretend to glorify the easy money that Lewis and his ilk made during the bond schlepping go-go days of the 1980s. Rather, Lewis is disillusioned by the greedy culture and hypocritical short-sightedness at Salomon Brothers, but not enough that he doesn't enjoy the ride for a few oh-so-profitable years. Like his other books, 'Liar's Poker' is fun to read. His anecdotes about the training program and the trading floor, albeit surely embellished, read like a day at the amusement park. The key shortcoming is an oozy 20-something self-righteousness that pervades many of the book's chapters, and reaches a crescendo in the final pages. But hey, arrogance begets credibility. And when it comes to describing Wall Street in the 80s, Lewis is as credible a spokesman as anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excelent insight into the world of wallstreet
Michael Lewis is obviously an excellent writer. The words simply flow from him. He speaks from experience so his perspective is insightful, and entertaining.

I have always been mesmerized by wallstreet, as well as silicon valley, simply because we it allows us, if even for just a few hours, to imagine the possibility of attaining great wealth legitimately thru our talent and hard work.

He reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut. But Kurt speaks of the old wrld, the one our fathers lived in. Lewis in more today. Somewhat ike Po Bronson

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read for a finance novice too!
I picked up this book as it is highly popular among investment bankers. I am not an investment banker and do not intend to be one but I was keen to find out what makes Wall Street special. The book not only satisfied my curiosity but also was pleasantly amusing.

The author traces the glorious and gloomy times of Salomon Brothers, a big financial enterprise in which he worked long enough to be able to tell this tale and become a rich man. He explains some financial innovations of Salomon brother's in lay man's terms, which makes this book very readable for all.

The author's self-deprecating humor and his vivid analysis of the people he came across in his organization make the account entertaining.

Whether or not the author's opinions on technical matters in this book are meritorious-I am not qualified to say. If you are a finance novice and curious to find out about life in that universe, you will find this book worthwhile. ... Read more


7. Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446528382
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Warner Business Books
Sales Rank: 3236
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

It's hard to think of a CEO that commands as much respect as Jack Welch. Under his leadership, General Electric reinvented itself several times over by integrating new and innovative practices into its many lines of business. In Jack: Straight from the Gut, Welch, with the help of Business Week journalist John Byrne, recounts his career and the style of management that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century. Beginning with Welch's childhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the book quickly progresses from his first job in GE's plastics division to his ambitious rise up the GE corporate ladder, which culminated in 1981. What comes across most in this autobiography is Welch's passion for business as well as his remarkable directness and intolerance of what he calls "superficial congeniality"--a dislike that would help earn him the nickname "Neutron Jack." In spite of its 496 pages, Jack: Straight from the Gut is a quick read that any student or manager would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (226)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jack, Over the Top Results
REVIEW: If one word could sum up Jack Welch's career at GE it might be "results". And this is why many people will want to read this book. It is basically an autobiography of Jack Welch's GE years and does not dwell on deap management theory. Those readers expecting a lot of new business theory or to learn how to repeat Jack's performance by reading about his secret methodology may be disappointed.

The management insights that Jack does reveal seem to me to be generally built on fairly well established (but poorly executed) management practices. Jack has just embraced them and used focussed passion coupled with an obsession on people to execute superbly and produce great results. For example, some of his major initiatives could be said to have been derived from existing management principles: 1) "No. 1 or 2" Jack admits is derived from Peter Drucker, 2)I believe six sigma is derived in part from Motorola, 3) "Boundaryless behaviour" can said to be based on Peter Drucker's observation that there are no profit centers inside an organization, and 4) Jack was clearly not an early pioneer on "E-business". Yet he recognized the opportunities and produced results from them. The book probably won't become a classic, but it is still recommended reading for today's and tomorrow's managers and especially those interest in the man himself.

STRENGTHS: The book is a fairly easy and interesting read full of anecdotes and insites. It does a great job of showing the management task as art and discipline that can be learned, improved, and mastered rather than as personal charisma or other common stereotypes of leadership.

WEAKNESSES: The minor weaknesses of the book relate to Jack's strong, competitive personality (and maybe ego) that show through in his writing. Despite that author's initial disclaimer to read "I" as meaning "we" I found Jack's lack of distinction between himself and GE to be minorly annoying. Parts of the book are filled with phrases like "I bought this $$$$$ company" when clearly "We" is appropriate [I know, I'm nit-picking]. Second (and this is almost excusable in an autobiography) Jack rarely gave the "other side" of the story when discussing major GE crises. For example, he never explains the EU's reasons for blocking the Honeywell merger, assuming that it is so obviously wrong it's not worthy of explaination.

5-0 out of 5 stars His advice may seem obvious to some, but...
His advice may seem obvious to some, but how often is it actually practiced? I shouted "yeah!" to myself over and over as I read a couple chapters of this book.

For example: the chapter about rating and rewarding his employees was excellent. For example, giving Class A employees 3x the salary increases over Class B employees-- Great!! Giving NO increases to Class C employees, and getting rid of them sooner rather than later...what can I say, I LOVE IT!!

He's so right about the fact that it's more cruel to let Class C workers attain and maintain an certain income level (that they are not really worthy of), and waiting til they're older, with a large mortgage and kids in college before finallly telling them that they're not making the grade.

I've worked with some people in the high-paying tech arena that, because of either blatant incompetence, bad attitude, and/or pure laziness, never should have gotten to where they are today. As far as I'm concerned, some never should have gotten past working in the food service industry.

Eventually those people *do* get weeded out (I'm seeing it happen right now in this economy). Sooner is better than later, both for the employer and the employee. I also enjoy not having to work with those types.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am almost ashamed to keep this book on our shelves
I must say I am disappointed in this book. Mr W. clearly takes much credit for the success of GE. Although a strong leader in any organization can make a big difference, it looks disgustingly fake when he tries to take all credit for success. If you are a critical reader you will most likely see through the tireless self promotion that went on with W.

I cannot waste any more time on this book, so I must end this review here, but there are good parts of this book. To find out about those, read someone else's reviews.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inside scoop on GE
A good book to get the inside "going ons" from a CEO's perspective. If you have interest in GE and the happenings through Mr. Welch's eyes this is a good read.

I was hoping to get a little more insight and direction regarding the key elements of running an extremely successful business. Outside of the "people are everything" and weed out the bottom feeders, there was little practical knowledge to be taken from the book and used by manager "want-to-be" types.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy the book used
I guess it's not bragging if you can do it - and he did. It is difficult to argue GE's success over the past 20 years. Mr. Welch took a 12 billion company and made it into a 500 billion dollar business. Without even using a computer!! Regarding the portion of the book were he talks about assigning E-trainers for all the top executives in the company, all I have to say is rank does have its privileged, It must be nice to have a techie hold your hand if you are an executive and computer illiterate.
It is hard to believe that it wasn't until 1999 that Jack Welch sent his first email. A multimillionaire who isn't connected....
I am not sure if it is ignorance or apathy?

In Mr Welch's defense, I am not sure how the author could have gotten around referencing everybody he worked with or for.
If you can get through that part of the book, there are some things in the rest of the book that are of value. I listened to the book on tape so it wasn't so bad.
He does talk about real people and real problems that he encountered throughout his career and what it took to get the job done working within the environment HE created.
If you are not a business person or just wondered what it is like at the top, here are a dozen of the key ideas Mr Welch talks about in his book.

Stretch jobs
The runway of a person,
The vitality curve of a career
Differentiation being a key value to getting ahead
"boundaryless" operations
Blackbelt employees
Plane crash scenario: Who will run the company
Having a deep bench: When a replacement was needed
Fix, Close or Sell areas of business that are not performing well
Being #1 or #2 in your field
The 6 sigma quality movement
Finance: People and dollars are the movable parts, while the people hold the depth of knowledge
Not to mention a smattering of, golf, tennis and ping pong stories.

Overall I would say buy the book used or borrow it from a friend - 4 stars ... Read more


8. Mr. China : A Memoir
by Tim Clissold
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761393
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 1423
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A first-hand look into China's complex business culture

In "Mr. China," we get a genuine look into the, "Now you see it, now you don't," world of foreign investment in China.

You'll laugh, and cry, when you read Clissold's frightening tales.You'll find out first-hand what it's like to be a pioneer in an emerging market, still entrenched in communism, where firing workers is off limits, regulations are deliberately complicated, and property ownership is a moving target.

Much of what has been written about China deals with the economic boom in coastal cities.Clissold takes us out into the hinterlands, some areas of which have only recently been opened to westerners.Out in China's badlands, they can be trying to destroy you one day, and the next day they're your best buddies, staying up with you all night, sloshing down baijiu.Lucky for us (and for the author), he lived to tell about it.

This book is full of valuable lessons, not just about China, but which are relevant to any emerging market.Even if you're not looking to invest in China, this book is still worth reading.Because, like it or not, China is here to stay.And the more we understand their complex culture, the better we'll be able to deal with them as an economic superpower.

We should be thankful to pioneers like Clissold, who pave the way and take the arrows.Yet despite the extreme hardships, and tens of millions in losses, Clissold leaves us with hope that, some day, we'll be able to make this work."Mr. China" is definitely a step in that direction.


4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual stories about investments in China that went wrong
For every success story that we hear about China investments, there must be many which have gone awry. Yet there are not many books that depict such tales from the first narrator viewpoint. Many are dry textbook-like, how-to narrations. Thus, Mr China provides a refreshing look into the realities of doing business in this vast land of 1.3 billion. I particularly enjoyed the story on the investment in Five Star Brewery- perhaps because it is a tale about a consumer product which makes it easier to grasp.

However, I do not understand why Mr Clissord kept using "arrived back from " when he could have used "returned from". Perhaps, it is due to his long stay in China that he started formulating his thoughts in Chinese?

It would also help if Mr Clissold could explain in greater detail the hierarchial structure of the Chinese governmental bodies.

On the whole, this is book worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone wants to understand modern China
As a person who was born in Taiwan and came of age in the States, I marvel at Tim's in-depth understanding of Chinese culture.All those proverbs he quoted at the beginning of each chapter are old sayings that are known for almost all Chinese and capture much essence of Chinese view of life and world through ages.His sincerity and truthful portrait of the Chinese that he encountered makes this book truly educational for anyone who wants to do business in China, like many reviews have already mentioned. What makes this book so special is Tim's compassion toward fellow human beings, in the instance of this book, toward people who live in the land that European happened to call "China."Scratching the surface difference of customs or language, people everywhere are pretty similar--they all long for a better live, try to do the best of what they are given and want to be treated respectfully.Being a member of this exclusive five-thousand year old club, I admire and appreciate Tim's efforts to put a humane face of Chinese people and try to build deeper understanding between two great nations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Reading Before Business Travel to China
Several days ago, I learned of the book Mr. China by Tim Clissold. I started reading it last night and finished it early this morning - only 252 pages. It is an absolutely mesmerizing chronicle of the investing in China in the 90's, and of the challenge to traveling out into the hinterlands of that enormous nation.

To a great extent it explains to me the situation I was actually in during my trip to Humen China last November - the balance between the Party and the private sector there, the role of the press, the work ethic and entrepreneurial drive of the Chinese, the intrigue of their nefarious rules/regulations and the balance between Beijing and the provinces. It reinforces the wisdom of our non-profit trade group having over 30 members with offices in China, a resouce we can draw from in our network. But this book is what individuals must read and come to grips with prior to travel to China.

I almost can not imagine what our members went through in opening factoriesthere. After you read this book, neither will you. And the same holds true for our many members there or soon to be in one form or another.

Simply amazing and an important, informative, moving and almost visceral read for those of us in this global game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Emerging Market Lessons
I have worked extensively in Russia, rather than China, but most of the author's experiences and lessons are just as applicable to Russia or any other emerging market.

Other than describing some common pitfalls and challenges, the author does a great job of explaining with insight, humor, and feeling why people are attracted to invest and live in emerging markets.

A good, fun, quick, read that might actually teach you something.Highly recommended!

TMR ... Read more


9. Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786883561
Catlog: Book (1999-01-13)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 3372
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the mostremarkable business stories in decades, growing from a single retailstore on Seattle's waterfront to a company with more than one thousandstores nationwide and a new one opening every business day. Starbucks haseffected a fundamental change in American life, turning coffee into anational obsession and establishing the coffee bar as a new fixture ofMain Street - a home away from home for millions of Americans. In PourYour Heart Into It, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, shares thepassion, values, and inspiration that drive the success of thisfascinating company. Schultz gives credit for the growth of Starbucks toa foundation of values seldom found in corporate America - values thatplace as much importance on the company's employees as they do onprofits, as much attention to creativity as to growth. Schultz tells thestory of Starbucks in chapters that illustrate the principles which havemade the company enduring, such as "Don't be threatened by people smarterthan you," "Compromise anything but your core values," "Seek to renewyourself even when you are hitting home runs," and, most simply,"Everything matters." For entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, andStarbucks' loyal customers, Pour Your Heart Into It gets to the heartof a company that, according to Fortune magazine, "has changedeverything...from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." ... Read more

Reviews (81)

4-0 out of 5 stars An insightful read - much better than the typical CEO tract
I was pleasantly surprised as that number of insights I picked up in Howard Schultz' tale. He and Dori Jones Yang really appeared to have connected in the writing of this book. There's an effortless flow in the telling that gives you a 'fly on the wall' insider's feel without getting bogged down in coffee arcania or management dribble.

Schultz walks you through some of the thought processes and actions that led to important advancements in Starbucks' success with their customers. And, he's not afraid to point out when he's been dead wrong. He's strong enough to admit being dead set against the Frappuccino & totally missing the boat on what ended up being a blowout product for the company.

One comment - it's hard for me to reconcile Schultz' recent fixation on the Internet, going so far as ruminating about buying Williams-Sonoma for its online potential, with the clear-headed thoughts expressed in this book. [Yes, let's see...I'll have a latte and this leather couch, thanks.] Throughout the book, Schultz shows a complete understanding of a company's need to please Wall Street via growing profits, and also is quite clear of having to evaluate each decision by asking "Will it strengthen or dilute the brand?"

5-0 out of 5 stars You will never look at Starbucks the same way again
This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read. It is truly inspiring. One simple, and telling, output from reading this book on a plane was that as soon as we landed I headed to the local airport Starbucks for a latte. I rarely even drink coffee! So powerful are the imagery and the passion for coffee in his story that you can almost smell the roasted dark beans, feel them running through your fingers, hear the sounds of the espresso machine and taste the coffee itself!

Why is this imagery so important? Because behind the corporate image of a relentless pac-man like machine churning out new locations at a rate slightly above the national birth rate it seems, is a simple vision of passion for coffee combined with Italian neighborhoods and a warm and friendly place where the worlds best coffee and social friendship intermix. That is what Starbucks was all about.

The book itself is a remarkable insight into this journey. It was even more special for me, as I grew up with Starbucks - literally. When Howard talks about the vision he had to treat even his part time employees with full benefits and ownership in the company through stock, I know it was more than just a nice sounding corporate manta, it really worked. Friends I went to high school with in Bellevue in the mid to late 1980's worked at the first stores, and raved about this little coffee company and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. So, from firsthand experience I can tell you that what he says about the passion and vision coming to life in Seattle is all true

While company history is quite interesting, and the book itself just hums and glides without ever getting mundane, the real gems are in the emotional reality Howard displays. He talks about being overwhelmed to tears, about the rejection he faced while trying to get funding for his fledgling company, about the naysayers and others who nearly took it all away, and the struggle with having a hand in everything and slowly letting go. You know that you are reading about a real person, someone who came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn with working-class roots, not an image generated by a large corporations PR spin doctors

The value of people, so often lost in corporate bureaucracy, is evident here. Starbucks grew because it struck an emotional chord with people. He knew that in order for the company to be successful he needed people who shared the values. This is often spoken of, and rarely practiced in the corporate world where systems, forecasts, processes and other such tools become the focal point, and the simple fact that all results come through people is lost. He speaks throughout the book of people who helped him, coached him, mentored him, challenged him, and made the company what it was. One quote in particular summarizes his views: "If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better." (Page 6) This theme comes through in every decision.

Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is truly inspiring. I would work for him tomorrow, if it really still is the way it's portrayed here. I encourage you to read this book and see your neighborhood Starbucks in a new light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Try Working at Starbucks
This is an interesting read if looked at as a fictional account of business. As a frustrated Starbucks employee, there are many an urban legend about how great we are supposed to be treated. Howard should go to work as a barista in one of his own stores, have customers insult him, throw drinks back at him and do all of the cleaning chores expected of the people making him his millions. As for the "One Drink at a Time", I wish that were true. We are expected to whip out drinks within mere seconds of them being ordered. Don't believe all the gospel of Howard. It ain't all that he thinks it is cracked up to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
OK. I don't read a lot of books. I am an entrepreneur. This book was great. I always liked starbucks coffee but now I have an in depth understanding of how truly amazing a company Starbucks is. You will not be dissappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book to Read for those who Wish to Develop Own Business
You can see from this book how Howard Schultz upheld his belief in good coffee quality from the begining. Also, he was so committed to bring in new experience to his customers which was a very important marketing strategy nowadays. The book is easy to read and has given the reader a lot of inspirations! ... Read more


10. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
by Les Standiford
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400047676
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 5156
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11. Buffett : The Making of an American Capitalist
by ROGER LOWENSTEIN
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385484917
Catlog: Book (1996-08-18)
Publisher: Main Street Books
Sales Rank: 3760
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An intimate portrait of Warren Buffet, the world's richest man. With unprecedented access, Roger Lowenstein provides the definitive, inside account of the "Oracle of Omaha, " a true American original. 2 cassettes. ... Read more

Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing American capitalist with principles.
The amazing securities investment analyst Warren Buffett is the focus of this near hagiographic biography that is filled with details about the life of an American capitalist that rivals the likes of Carnegie, Ford, or Morgan. Lowenstein has done a remarkable job in telling the financial story of Buffett's rise to securities fame, although not as much about his actual strategy (that's another story). The early years depict a precocious child adept at numbers in a household rich with a domineering mother and business-minded father. Buffett's early investments, his famous relationship with Katherine Graham of The Washington Post, his role in the Capital Cities purchase of ABC, his rescue of the Solomon Brothers, and his unique personal relationship with his wife all make for a highly interesting, fascinating tale, sure to be a hit in schools of business. Buffett's securities firm stock value has ranged from a meager $7, to an estimated 1994 value of over $20,000 per share, evidence enough of the sagacious leadership of this preeminent securities specialist. During the reckless '80s, Buffett's principle-centered approach to building value never wavered, thus solidifying his fame. James Lurie's powerful reading is dead on, evoking the power of this man's singular character. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Proof that a book about investing can also be interesting
I picked up Roger Lowenstein's book because I had enjoyed his column in the Wall Street Journal. In a nutshell, he and Mr. Buffett explain the differences between investing and speculation. Purchasing a stock based on a cold-blooded assessment of its VALUE is investment; buying a stock based on guesses about the general market, the economy, the mood of the public or other factors that are inherently unknowable is speculation. Unfortunately, that distinction has largely been lost on the frenzied day-traders, the purchasers of Internet stocks and the legion of "expert" market prognosticators who ought to know better. If you are interested in investing successfully for the long term, you should read this book. Apart from all that, Lowenstein also gives us a highly readable story of Warren Buffett the person, and I came away with a strong sense of Mr. Buffett's personal integrity and intellectual discipline. (In a curious way, though, the laser-like focus and icy rationality that have made Buffett so successful as an investor have apparently made him less successful as a father and husband. Read the book and you'll see what I mean.) The book is worth reading simply for what it has to say about this remarkable man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Buffett Book Ever
I've read a lot of books about Warren Buffett and this is by far my favorite. If you have to read only one, read this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
I found that I knew so little about Warren Buffett, and this gave me a wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately, the book was written before the tech boom and subsequent collapse. Therefore, you do not get a sense of what he did during that time of hysteria, but prior to that it gives an insight that most authors aren't capable of relaying.

5-0 out of 5 stars How Buffett Thinks
This book helps you understand how one of the greatest business thinkers of all time got that way. (How would Buffett approach a paper route as a boy, for example?) If you are interested in getting inside his head, this book is a good way to start. ... Read more


12. License to Deal : A Year on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent
by Jerry Crasnick
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594860246
Catlog: Book (2005-06-04)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 18157
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Book Description

The movie Jerry Maguire and HBO series Arli$$ barely skimmed the surface. Now the true inside story of the sports agent business is exposed as never before.

During baseball's evolution from national pastime to a $3.6 billion business, the game's agents have played a pivotal role in driving and (some might say) ruining the sport. In a world of unchecked egos and minimal regulation, client-stealing and financial inducements have become commonplace, leading many to label the field a cesspool, devoid of loyalties and filled with predators.

Matt Sosnick entered these shark-infested waters in 1997, leaving a job as CEO of a San Francisco high-tech company to represent ballplayers--and hoping to do so while keeping his romantic love of baseball and his integrity intact. License to Deal follows Sosnick as he deals with his up-and-coming clients (his most famous is the 2003 rookie-of-the-year pitching sensation Dontrelle Willis). We become privy to never-before-disclosed stories behind the rise of baseball's most powerful agent, Scott Boras. And we get a novel perspective on the art of the deal and the economics of baseball.

By one of baseball's most respected sportswriters, who is now ESPN.com's lead Insider baseball reporter, License to Deal, like Michael Lewis's bestselling Moneyball, will provide fuel for many a heated baseball discussion.
... Read more

13. Confessions of a Street Addict
by James J. Cramer
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743224876
Catlog: Book (2002-05-13)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 27228
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

It's hard to think of anyone more intense or opinionated, or who wears as many hats as James Cramer. In Confessions of a Street Addict, the man who first made a name for himself on Wall Street successfully managing his hedge fund--and then became famous on Main Street with his manic appearances on CNBC--tells the improbable story of his career as journalist, Wall Street pundit, Internet entrepreneur, and television commentator. For the most part, Cramer manages to avoid the self-congratulatory hype that mars so many books of this ilk; in fact, what makes Confessions so compelling are the shots that Cramer takes at himself, be it his now infamous capitulation during the stock market panic of October 1998, when he wrote a piece for TheStreet.com advising readers of an impending crash just as the market began to rebound, or the callous way he treated so many around him in pursuit of the next trade. Here's an informative, honest, and rollicking read for fans of CNBC, TheStreet.com, or anyone who has ever lost sleep thinking about their portfolios. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars High Energy Reading, Don't Miss This Book!
I recommend reading this book, even if you don't like the stock market or investing. I could hardly put it down once I started to read it. Jim Cramer is not only an exciting individual, but he has tremendous writing skill. You will be amazed at how much fun you will have reading this book, because every line you read causes you to crave the next and the next and the next.

If you desire to see inside the mind of someone on Wall Street this is your opportunity. At times you will envy him, at other times you will despise him, but in the end you will walk away with a deep respect for him. Even if you disagree with his total workaholic mentality, his work ethic will astonish you. He is one of the truely interesting people in the financial world and he has given you the guided tour of his life.

Personally I look forward each day to Real Money on the radio and Kudlow and Cramer on CNBC each night, so this book was a logical next step in understanding the Markets and the people who move them. Don't miss this one or you will regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars To Trader's Hell and Back, And Lived to Tell About It
James J. Cramer (Cramer & Berkowitz, TheStreet.com, CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer) takes you to a stock market trader's hell and back in "Confessions of a Street Addict." The analogy of investing being a war zone was coined at least 70 years ago with Gerald Loeb's "The Battle For Investment Survival" (1935). And you can't make it through the pages of this book without realizing what a battlefield it is. No book comes closer to approximating the giddy highs or heart-wrenching lows that trading puts a person through. The glory of victory and the agony of defeat are never more real as Cramer bares the trader's soul.
The book reads almost like an adventure novel - ricocheting from one crisis to another, each scene set up with hero and villain, with Cramer not always coming out on top. He starts you off with his basic biography, of being a teenage stock picker (paper trader), of his march through journalism (which shows in his writing), of Harvard Law, and eventually to Wall Street's most intense stage of conflict - the hedge fund.
The beauty of this book is that you get the fly-in-the-brain's view of how traders think (or don't think when their emotions get the best of them), how Wall Street really works, and how it all congeals together to produce the daily statistics. You are there as Cramer learns the ropes from his wife-to-be, The Trading Goddess, Karen Backfish. You sweat with him as he does deals, takes chances, high-fives victories, and crashes so low with failures he could probably seep out under the door unnoticed. A lot of the things you learn run counter to what the official Wall Street line wants you to know - the inside story of the blow-up of LTCM, and how analysts, brokers, and fund managers continually jostle each other for positions of power and influence, and profit.
The most interesting part of the book is being there as the Internet springs to life in the mid 90s - the wild enthusiasm and the unbelievable cluelessness that much of the Internet was built upon. But it was built, and it was built by the types of people Cramer came in contact with regularly - half geniuses, half dreamers, and half con men. And you're right - most of the time, it didn't add up.
Cramer, in addition to being a market manic, had a populist's belief that the little guys should have the same access to what the big guys had, and that the technology was now here to make it possible. TheStreet.com was the result. It's still here - one of the survivors, as is Cramer.
A lot of the book is a sad commentary on how far an addiction can twist your life around. Cramer chastises himself for talking stocks beside his mother's deathbed, his tumultuous relationship with his benefactor Marty Peretz, the destruction of computers and equipment and abuse of employees when the market went against him, and how he deserted his family for the sake of "the game." He simply couldn't stand to lose. In the end, he had enough common sense (though he makes it clear that his wife was always the steady rock in their relationship) to quit while he was ahead.
I particularly enjoyed Cramer's honesty at the extremes, (the emotional soul-wrenching limit) especially the bottom in 1998 (when he caved in - "sell everything, the market's gonna' crash - it's the end of the world"), and at the top in 2000 (when he publicly announced Internet stocks would live forever), and Cramer's final tantrum with the market on 22 Nov 00 when he met his match in a long Brocade position (I quit!). Each time, Cramer was so sure he was right, nobody or thing could dissuade him of his fallibility. But each time, it was his wife (1998), or reality (2000), or, finally, his own cathartic understanding of himself that led him back to humility...and humanity.
Given his personality, one must believe that if he had taken up stamp collecting, little would have changed, and it would be the philatelic world which would have had to live through Cramer's manias. Summing up his career, Cramer quotes his wife's 1998 pronouncement as they recovered from nearly panicking out at the bottom: "It's better to be lucky than to be good." However, with the success Backfish and Cramer had, I expect their luck was more of the variety of being smart enough to be at the right place at the right time than that of a pure roll of the dice. Good traders aren't just lucky, they're good. And Cramer was good, even if he was an addict.

3-0 out of 5 stars The scam that is Wall St....
With a rolodex of of brokers, analysts and CEO's at their fingertips... Cramer & Co. spent their day hyping or deflating stocks (depending on whether they were long or short), or just trying to get a reading of where the analyst community was (hoping to short or long the stocks -- which they would then go on to hype or deflate)... in the end, of course, the poor sucker holding the bag was John Q. Public.

So is this what hedge fund managers spend their day doing? Is this what trading was to Cramer & Co. (manipulating and in cahoots with Wall St. analysts)? Are analysts nothing but cheerleaders for their favorite stock of the day?

Oh, what a web of deceit and collusion Wall St. is...

5-0 out of 5 stars The Legend
This book rules. I have read both it and Nicholas Maier's "Trading with the enemy", and after completing both, hands down give the trophy to Cramer. Both books tell the same stories, but Cramer is a significantly more intelligent, insightful and entertaining writer. Great balance of Jim being Jim, an insider's view into Cramer Berkowitz and the impact of social and political activities on Wall Street. Jim spends about 20% of the book talking about how drastically he was impacted by the events which unfolded in 1998, specifically in regard to the LTCM liquidation in the fallout of the Russian bond default.

If you have any interest in Wall Street get this and read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I Can Only Take Him In Small Doses
I listen to him on the radio and of course seen him on his show so I bought the book.

I did not finish the book. It is difficult to describe precisely but it is like a sugar overdose. I know 90% will disagree but that is my feeling about the book. There is too much self promotion - not that other writers do not also do this - but I find it annnoying, and there are many good books to read.

Having said that he is a brilliant investor. Follow what he does and you will do well. If you really cannot get enough Cramer then read this book.

4 stars

My humble opinion.

Jack in Toronto ... Read more


14. Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
by RON CHERNOW
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679438084
Catlog: Book (1998-05-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 110214
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Ron Chernow, whose previous books have taken on the Morgan and Warburg financial empires, now turns his attention to the patriarch of the Rockefeller dynasty. John D. was history's first recorded billionaire and one of the most controversial public figures in America at the turn of the 20th century. Standard Oil--which he always referred to as the result of financial "cooperation," never as a "cartel" or a "monopoly"--controlled at its peak nearly 90 percent of the United States oil industry. Rockefeller drew sharp criticism, as well as the attention of federal probes, for business practices like underpricing his competitors out of the market and bribing politicians to secure his dominant market share.

While Chernow amply catalogs Rockefeller's misdeeds, he also presents the tycoon's human side. Making use of voluminous business correspondence, as well as rare transcripts of interviews conducted when Rockefeller was in his late 70s and early 80s, Chernow is able to present his subject's perspective on his own past, re-creating a figure who has come down to us as cold and unfeeling as a shrewd, dryly humorous man who had no inner misgivings about reconciling his devout religious convictions with his fiscal acquisitiveness. The story of John D. Rockefeller Sr. is, in many ways, the story of America between the Civil War and the First World War, and Chernow has told that story in magnificently fascinating depth and style. ... Read more

Reviews (117)

5-0 out of 5 stars The parallels to Gates and MSFT are an interesting subtext
I am in awe of Ron Chernow for writing a long and thorough biography that I absolutely could not put down. Rarely have I finished such a long book in such a short period of time. Chernow manages to show how complex Rockefeller's personality and motives, were, and he helps us to avoid the all-too-easy cliches about the rich and powerful. Yet while revealing the complexity, he is never boring, didactic, or long-winded.

I found it interesting to compare Rockefeller and Standard Oil to Bill Gates and Microsoft. Both men are powerful, rich, misunderstood, certain that their actions are ethical and good for their country and the economy, and dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. Both men vow(ed) to give away most of their fortune. Both have been attacked by their own government, and villified in the press. Both dominate media coverage of business. And, like Rockefeller, Gates is a brilliant strategist who defies easy cliches and shallow descriptions. You can see goodness in either man, and you can also see evil. The beauty of Chernow's biography is that he allows us to see both sides of Rockefeller, without ever landing on either side himself.

Regardless of my thoughts on the parallels, I highly recommend this bio. Four friends are receiving it as their Christmas gift from me.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Two Sides of Titan
Like its hero, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller has two sides. At times the almost novelesque book is insufferable. The text is dense and dizzying, making anyone who is not an economist feel incompetent and mind-boggled. At certain points, I needed to reread a sentence maybe two or three times because I either did not understand economic principle being displayed or because of my sheer lack of interest. When I was almost ready to quit with the constant analysis of the oil industry and Rockefeller's economic strategy, Chernow brought out the more personal side of the book, delving into Rockefeller's private life using uncommon and interesting anecdotes. It is quite obvious that Rockefeller's religious beliefs and family history greatly contributed to his transformation into the titan that will forever be remembered in American history. Chernow both proved my preconceived notions of the frugal and hard businessman that Rockefeller seemed to be and then surprised me, revealing the kinder, more spiritual Rockefeller who is oddly likable. I both loved and hated him. Like Chernow states, "what makes him so problematic- and why he continues to inspire such ambivalent reactions- is that his good side was every bit as good as his bad side was bad. Seldom has history produced such a contradictory figure. We are almost forced to posit, in helpless confusion, at least two Rockefellers: the good, religious man and the renegade businessman, driven by baser motives." So like its protagonist, Titan has two sides, its solid factual analysis of Rockefeller's business that perhaps only an economist could enjoy, and its warm-hearted account of Rockefeller's unexpected traits, which is far more appealing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strong intoduction, bland filler
This book starts out strong, describing in rich detail the rise of one of America's wealthiest men. Very interesting. However, I had to engage in a type of self-coercion to pick the book up after about 100 pages. I hate to call it "filler," but I have to call a spade a spade.

4-0 out of 5 stars Story of an American Icon
In the biography of John D. Rockefeller Sr., Ron Chernow exposes the man behind the myth. Chernow shows both Rockefeller's ruthless nature and his religous beliefs. Even though the book at points was long wordy and long I still found it to be enjoyable. This book does give you a really broad insite to his business pratices and the history of the Standard Oil Company.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five solid stars, THE book on J.D. Rockefeller Sr.
The other reviews have basically said it for me: this is the definitive book on the founder of Standard Oil. While most biographies of Rockefeller Sr. have been either suspiciously laudatory or equally dubiously contemptuous, Chernow takes the middle ground. Ultimately, Chernow seems to fall more on the side of liking Rockefeller, and employs the somewhat cliche perspective that could fairly be called "modern contextualist"- from which Rockefeller is not much more than a product of his times. However, the slight overuse of this particular biographical "voice," if you will, is but one element of what is really a monumental biography of a fascinating person. Chernow is a very readable biographer who evidently has a deep understanding of American business. (Chernow also wrote "The House of Morgan" - an account of the development of the various offshoots of J.P. Morgan's banking empire which, although very good, lacks Titan's intense focus and analysis.) I heartily recommend Titan. ... Read more


15. The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition
by Robert G.Hagstrom
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471648116
Catlog: Book (2004-10-08)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 10133
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

PRAISE FOR THE WARREN BUFFETT WAY
FIRST EDITION

"Nobody has described what Buffett practices better than Hagstrom."
–Time

"Simply the most important new stock book . . . If you think you know all about Warren Buffett, you have a lot to learn from this book."
–Forbes

"It’s first rate. Buffett gets a lot of attention for what he preaches, but nobody has described what he practices better than Hagstrom.Here is the lowdown on every major stock he ever bought and why he bought it.Fascinating."
–Fortune

"Almost anybody curious about the relationship between the behavior of economics, the performance of firms, and the ups and downs of the stock market will find something of interest here."
–The Economist

"The Warren Buffett Way is accessible to average readers because Mr. Hagstrom reduces the billionaire’s techniques to some easily understandable tenets . . . the book demonstrates the rewards that can come down the road."
–The Dallas Morning News ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Belongs on the list of all time investment classics.
Other reviewers have written that this book is undervalued and they are right. Right from the start Hagstrom gives us advice on the nature of the market. He then gives management tenants, how to value a business and all kinds of investment tenants. These tenents are so fundamental that its very difficult to see how investing can be done without them in one form or the other. This makes the book timeless. Numerous examples are given from real world cases of how these tenants are used. There is also an excellent appendix that gives examples of how a business is valued. This is very helpful. Some reviewers have criticized Hagstrom, saying that if the book is true, why isnt he rich? But this is not how information is to be judged. There are many books that contain solid gold advice, but there are few who master them. Buffett is among them. If one wants additional information on Buffets methods, I suggest reading "How to pick stocks like Warren Buffett" by Tim Vick. But The Warren Buffett Way is a classic and at the top of the heap.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the most popular investment reads
This book is for anyone whether you are trying to understand investing for the first time or an experienced investor refreshing yourself with the principles of fundamental analysis. Hagstrom answers all the questions of what makes Buffett one of the most successful investors of our time. He talks about Buffett's childhood as a boy ambitious to turn a profit in selling Coca Cola as well as his philosophy behind which he makes his decisions on buying a particular stock. The refreshing part about investing like Buffett is whether you buy millions of dollars worth of stock or just a few shares of stock, you can still use the same principles that Buffett uses in making a decision. The methods are straight-forward and bring common sense approach to picking stocks. In it you buy stocks as if you were buying groceries and not as if you were buying perfume. It is not even necessary to know any complicated formulae about how to determine the value of a stock although some elementary math is required. If you only had to pick one book to read about investing and burn all the other books I would recommend this book. It is more informative that many other textbooks out there read by college students filled with unnecessary math and financial theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
Forget B-school, read this book. Seriously, a great introduction to value investing and the Buffett mentality of risk.

Hagstrom's analysis is very easy to read and understand... a book everyone should read.

5-0 out of 5 stars What if Mr. Market goes really crazy?
If you are reading this book just to be better informed, I think you will get your money's worth. I feel I got a five-star education. But if you are going to read it to make a decision to buy or not to buy Berkshire Hathaway, you should keep these two points in mind: First, almost everyone considers Warren Buffet to be the world's greatest investor. This special attribute of Mr. Buffet might be reflected in the price of Berkshire Hathaway stock. If Warren Buffet were no longer around, what would that do to Berkshire Hathaway? Hasn't Mr. Buffet's greatness built in a premium in Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Second, this book proves that Mr. Buffet beat Mr. Market most of the time under normal circumstances. In abnormal circumstances, Mr. Market could beat Mr. Buffet. Abnormal circumstances would exist if Mr. Market went into a long, deep depression (like he did in the 1930's and dropped in value by 90%). And could a second terrorist attack similar to 9/11 cause Mr. Market to panic and create abnormal circumstances in the economy?

No matter how good the company, Mr. Market can and will hurt the value of its stock. If there is another terrorist attack like 9/11, Mr. Market will panic and Coca Cola, Washington Post, GEICO, etc., would all suffer terribly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once Again, Take It With A Grain of Salt
I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, who has the delightful headache of trying to figure out where to put his steadily growing billions, I am a non-investor, sitting on the sidelines, wondering what all the fuss is about. Like most readers of this book, I have been told incessantly to invest for retirement, and not knowing exactly how I should do so, I figured it might be a good idea to glean a few secrets from a proven successful investor. Hence, I read The Warren Buffett Way from cover to cover, hoping to learn a few things.

And what did I learn? I learned that I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, whose circle of associates includes all of the Beautiful People of Corporate America, I am surrounded by ordinary people, more than a few of whom are looking for a way to get rich quick. Whereas Mr. Buffett is patient and thoughtful with his investments, most of the people I encounter are thoughtless and reckless with their gambles. These two things, which I increasingly began to ponder as I read this book, distinguish me from the Oracle of Omaha, and quite possibly from most readers of this book.

The book consists of nine chapters, and is mostly historical in nature. It details many of Buffett's past exploits in the stock market, mostly the good moves but also some bad ones, and offers some of the principles guiding Mr. Buffett's stock investing strategy, grouped into three classes called Management, Financial and Market Tenets. The first four chapters of the book delve into the early history of Berkshire Hathaway, the key influences on Mr. Buffett which helped to shape his investment philosophy, Mr. Buffett's perspective on the financial markets, and the principles by which he goes about purchasing a business. The last five chapters of the book give example after example of some of Mr. Buffett's past stock moves, and tries to show his Tenets in action.

The style of the book is mostly active until the fifth chapter, whereupon it becomes plodding. The book is extremely repetitive at points, and as other reviewers have pointed out, key concepts are not fully explained up front, suggesting that the possible target audience for this book are those having a strong background in the general principles of economics and business.

In all honesty, I have previously encountered most of the content of this book in coursework or self-study. I previously read Mr. Hagstrom's The Warren Buffett Portfolio, and found the two books to be similar in some respects. That said, I still found this book to be very interesting and useful, primarily because it exposed me to an investment approach which utilizes these concepts in ways I had not previously considered. I also found it highly interesting on an anecdotal level, given that Mr. Buffett's investment career spans The Go-Go Years, The Nifty Fifty Stocks and the 80s and 90s Tech Stock Boom, and yet he never once participated in these tech-stock manias but handily outperformed tech stock investors nonetheless.

Like I said, I am not Warren Edward Buffett and I can not expect or even hope to do what he does, but that does not mean that I can not think like him. Even Mr. Buffett cautions the small investor in this regard, as there are things that he can do that none of little guys can do. Yet, he also has said that there are things the little guy can do that he can not do. That said, the book deserves to be read by any one lacking the ability to reason through the process of investing. However, readers at all levels should not stop with this book. Others have pointed out that one could get even more information straight from the horse's mouth- the Berkshire Hathaway website.

On the other hand, as this information details past moves for which the conditions surrounding them are most unlikely to come around again, I believe that the more astute reader looking to learn more should consult The Money Game by Adam Smith for a brief historical look at financial foolishness (albeit the late sixties but the resemblance to Right Now is striking), The Theory of Investment Value by John Burr Williams for Buffett's original basis for valuation, and The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham for a more detailed explanation of the concepts of margin of safety, intrinsic value, and the benefits associated with ignoring the market noise. These three books will help one learn how to reason through the investment problem, as this is the most important step, aside from finding smart people (as Mr. Smith admonishes forcefully in The Money Game and Buffett has consistently done) and thinking more but acting less (as Buffett has said- do a few things right and screw everything else). ... Read more


16. Confessions of an Advertising Man
by David Ogilvy
list price: $17.00
our price: $11.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1904915019
Catlog: Book (2004-10-30)
Publisher: Southbank Publishing
Sales Rank: 20636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The long–awaited reissue of the million–copy best–seller that FORBES magazine called “A valuable primer on advertising for any businessman or investor.” With a new Foreword by Sir Alan Parker. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise -- Worth a quick read
Ogilvy's clear concise writing makes it a quick easy read. In fact, parts of the book itself sound like an advertisement for the advertising industry. His bulleted set of mantras are for the most part, intuitive. It is very interesting especially for a person in the 21st century reading the advertising zeitgeist in 1960s.

The last chapter "Should Advertising be Abolished?" is a must-read. The author seems to be feel guilty enough to admit that the industry needs to be "reformed" and stricter controls and regimens need to be adopted.

I wish the book had lot more concrete examples of ads and copies that have run in the papers, so Ogilvy's observations can be more credible. Nevertheless the author's writing is quite compeling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from One of the Masters
While not as detailed or colorfully illustrated as his later work "Ogilvy on Advertsing," this is still a classic fillld with great information. The book is clearly a precursor to "Ogilvy on Advertising," as many of the same elements can be found in it.

Ogilvy has a wonderfully casual, yet occassionally pompous, style to his writing, but he clearly knows and understands advertising. He manages that rare combination of managing to teach while entertaining. Sometimes his ego and pride come across too strongly, but given the man's accomplishments, I'll cut him slack. And you may wonder why he starts off discussing his days as a chef in Paris, but he does a great job of analogizing that experience to his experiences with running an ad agency.

Highly recommended for anyone involved in advertising, particularly copywriters. Ogilvy was a copywriter and he clearly has a special admiration for those who write copy for a living. He also has great advice to share for anyone in advertising.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding read!!
I am a freshmen marketing mojor at Johnson & Wales University and let me just say that this book is outstanding. There are concepts in this book that no marketing professor will ever teach you! David Ogilvy is an advertising genius! If your looking for a great book that will give you a tremendous leap forward in the marketing/advertising industry, this is the book to pick up. I checked this book out at the local library, but i loved it so much that i am planning on picking up my own copy of the book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic in Advertising. Easy to read.
This is a great book. It's a must for any one who is going to want to work in advertising agency AND for anyone who is going to run ANY KIND of a business. David Ogilvy, is giving ideas on everything. This book was very easy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Advertising Classic
I really enjoyed this book and have lent it to several friends. Much to my chagrin, they now regularly spew Ogilvy quotes to me. If you buy the book, don't lend it to anyone you talk to on a regular basis.

Ogilvy is one of my favorite advertising thinkers. This isn't saying much but what of serious importance is there to discuss in advertising anyway. He's a really witty, cocky guy.

He tells a bit about how he got started in advertising and then goes on to detail his philosophies on running and agency, copywriting, etc.

Much of the content and structure of this book is similar to that in "Ogilvy on dvertising."

If you work in advertising or want a better idea of what the advertising biz is all about, read this book.

It's out of print so the only way to get it is to buy it used. ... Read more


17. Jack Welch & The G.E. Way: Management Insights and Leadership Secrets of the Legendary CEO
by Robert Slater
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070581045
Catlog: Book (1998-07-31)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 16165
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A recent Fortune poll cited General Electric Company as America's most admired company. Much of the credit went to Jack Welch, GE's chief executive for the past 17 years. During his tenure, GE's revenues and profits have grown enormously. Its share price has soared, making GE the world's most valuable company. And the key to GE's success, according to Jack Welch and the GE Way, is Welch's fanatical devotion to a personal philosophy of leadership. Author Robert Slater has made a growth industry of his own out of Welch, penning two previous books on him, The New GE in 1992 and Get Better or Get Beaten! two years later. The same territory was plowed in 1993 by Noel M. Tichy and Stratford Sherman in Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will.

In this book, Slater draws extensively on Welch's own words to deliver his now familiar message: keep it simple; face reality; embrace change; fight bureaucracy. Bromides these may be, but Slater's account of Welch's fierce efforts to lead a global, multifarious organization of 270,000 people does inspire admiration, even if it does not enable emulation. The book provides fresh insights into GE's shift toward service businesses, as with its takeover and transformation of NBC. Most timely are Welch's closing thoughts on trends in the global economy. Jack Welch and the GE Way is a must for the legions of "Welch-heads" out there and for anyone else interested in this brilliant leader's perspective on the future of business. --Barry Mitzman ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons from a brilliant business icon
Good Job, Jack!!

As a one-time Wall Street professional, I find books about the top minds of business interesting. Truly, this book about the now-retired CEO of General Electric, the world's best run company, is fascinating. It not only gives us insight into Jack Welch the man, but the strategies he used to make GE a darling of Wall Street and Main Street.

What I found most intriguing about this book is its dedication to showing HOW and WHY Mr. Welch employed his fresh attitudes towards his pursuit of excellence. He addresses many salient issues, including

1. Leadership being the key to successful management, not managing; 2. Harnessing the true power of the corporation: its employees; 3. The advantages of large corporations acting like small companies; 4. Growth by globalization; 5. Corporate change is natural and necessary. Jack Welch has proven that he was one of the greatest leaders corporate America has known. The author, Robert Slater, does a superb job of taking us inside GE and Jack Welch's head. This book will stand as a tribute to GE's greatness and Welch's vision, strength, courage and brilliance.

If you are an entrepreneur, corporate manager or business executive, this book is well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC STORY... INCREDIBLE MAN!
Any corporate executive or manager should read this book to be an effective, top-notch leader. Jack Welch has come through the ranks and has shown us that in the corporate world of business it is not enough to manage, one must lead by example. Welch shows how and why corporate change is both healthy and a necessity. Above all, the book brings out the fundamental aspect of communication and the fact that many of our obstacles, trials and errors in the corporate world could easily be overcome or eliminated with effective communication skills. In the world of business, communication takes up the majority of our time even though many CEO's and managers have, seemingly, not learned this critical fact. If CEO's, managers and employees are lacking exceptional communication skills, corporations, both large and small, will not reap the fruits of their labour and achieve optimum results.

Overall, "Jack Welch and the G.E. Way" is an insightful look inside the mind of brilliant man, and penned by a writer who puts meaning and conviction to the words. The story which unfolds, and Welch himself, are throughly intriguing. The book is highly recommended and certainly deserving of a five-star rating.

2-0 out of 5 stars Author Paid By The Word
Good overview of the Jack Welch way, including a variety of innovative business ideas that brought GE forward.

However, as a book goes, it would appear the author was paid by the word. Each of the "secrets" is presented, reviewed, repeated, and presented again in a 300+ page book that would better be summarized in about 20. I kept reading after the first two chapters thinking I would learn somthing new, but honestly, save your money, read chapter one at the library, and go home with just as much insight.

To the publisher, I'd recommed an "executive summary" version for the next edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But I Prefer Jack's Own
I bought this book before reading Jack's "Straight from the Gut". When I read this book I thought it was 5 stars and I re-read this book at least once looking for clues to help my own business. Then I read Jack's book and realized his was better. In any case this covers all the basic aspects of Jack's methods including the educational meetings at the GE "university", cleaning house, picking winning companies, eliminating small market share companies, and promoting top performers and eliminating underperformers. It shows how he is hands on.

Good if you want to read two books on Jack Welch.

Jack in Toronto

1-0 out of 5 stars Absurd
I worked as an engineer for GE under Jack Welch and I have also worked as a (civilian) naval engineer.

GE's bureaucracy makes the government look like a paradigm of efficiency. GE is probably the most politicized, bureaucratic, inefficient and bloated organization on the planet.

Jack Welch is incompetent. Read a comic book instead: You'll find more truth in one. ... Read more


18. Sam Walton : Made In America
by SAM WALTON
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553562835
Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 8680
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It's a story about entrepreneur, and risk, and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get there. And it's a story about believing in your idea even when maybe some other folks don't, and about sticking to your guns. Sam Walton. Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who turned a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch. Here, finally, Sam Walton tells his extraordinary story in his won inimitable words. Genuinely modest, but always sure of his ambitious and achievements, Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. In a story rich with anecdotes and the "rules of the road" of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream. " ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Retail Formula!
An interest in how discount shops work triggered my reading of the book. Sam Walton, a prominent figure in the field, with his phenomenon success in Wal-Mart, had openly revealed his secrets and strategies in his empire building. Being well-organised, this book takes one step-by-step through the whole process of the business setup, enlightening with reasons behind each move he'd made, e.g. taking the company to public. Hence, if you wanna be or are presently a retailer, you probably wouldn't want to miss this great book. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Business Strategies Book
Sam Walton truely gives us a great model on how to run a business in Made in America. It is not so much the autobiography of Sam but the autobiograph of the Wal-Mart Corporation. This book give a great model for how to try to get big in business and still remain small. Sam Walton used his knowledge along with many ideas from other companies to form what Wal-Mart is today. These and many other strategies for running a business are all included in this book. I feel that this would be a great book for a class on general business. It gives great ideas on how to run a business weather it is big or small.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Valuable Book in the World
I can say without doubt that I have come across the most valuable book ever published in the whole of history, which is estimated to be worth around $80 Billion... encouraging, inspiring, insightful, interesting, modest... SIMPLY SUPERB!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Hillarious propaganda
This is so stupid. Wal mart was "Made in america" by sam walton and now everything in wal mart says "Made in china." Wal amrt pays its emplotyees next to nothing and breaks strikes and prevents union formations. These pigs and this dead guy are so stupid that they think they can get away with breaking every labor law on the books and get away with it.

DONT GO TO WAL MART ANF BUY AMERICAN.
JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Ghost written in India?
My copy of this book has many spelling and grammatical errors. It is if this was ghost written in another language and then put through a translator who had no idea of how American English sounds. Also, when I went to my local Wal Mart to fact check the book, all the American flags were made in countries other than the US!
What a disgrace!! ... Read more


19. The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
by Ron Chernow
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802138292
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Publishers Group West
Sales Rank: 4514
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The winner of the National Book Award and now considered a classic, The House of Morgan is the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. Acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as "brilliantly researched and written," the book tells the rich, panoramic story of four generations of Morgans and the powerful, secretive firms they spawned. It is the definitive account of the rise of the modern financial world. A gripping history of banking and the booms and busts that shaped the world on both sides of the Atlantic, The House of Morgan traces the trajectory of the J. P. Morgan empire from its obscure beginnings in Victorian London to the crash of 1987. Ron Chernow paints a fascinating portrait of the private saga of the Morgans and the rarefied world of the American and British elite in which they moved. Based on extensive interviews and access to the family and business archives, The House of Morgan is an investigative masterpiece, a compelling account of a remarkable institution and the men who ran it, and an essential book for understanding the money and power behind the major historical events of the last 150 years. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars The House of Morgan
Chernow vividly portrays the influence that the Morgan banks have had on the history of the Western economy since the late 18th century. The epic story of the development of the American industrial experience is inextricably related to the history of the Morgan banks. Though this fascinating story is virtually the same as that told by Kathleen Bunk in Morgan Grenfell 1838-1988 ( LJ 12/89), Chernow adds color and personality with an emphasis on the 20th-century development of the bank. Working with recently discovered Morgan archives, he reveals institutional details long hidden by the protective secrecy of the family. This superb history will be an important book. BOMC, Fortune, and History Book Club featured alternates.

4-0 out of 5 stars Chernow's best work
The House of Morgan is a book that must be read by any and all people who have a significant interest in the early stages of American capitalism and its place in modern global economic history. Chernow demonstrates assiduous research and presents a wonderful review of the nascent stages of a economic and financial clearinghouse at Morgan. He writes quite cogently on the Morgan family and it's inner circle of elite and well groomed senior management's ability to harness this power to the benefit of both the firms parners and the U.S. economy at large. Further, Chernow does a admirable job discussing the more evolved stages of captial formation in the early to mid 20th Century that greatly increased competition and radically diminished the power at Morgan.

Where I believe he fell short, as was the case in his Titan tome as well, was in the integration of his specific thesis into a more general historical and socio-economic context. While some may agrue that this would be too much to conquer in one book, I would argue that improved editing of certain repitions would make room for this improvement and make this work a true treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Consistently fascinating
A consistently fascinating account of the rise of modern finance and its relationship to the development of large scale and multinationalindustry and modern government. The portraits of the Morgan family and associates are sharp and illuminating, both in their public and private dimensions. Two reservations. It would have been helpful to have a chart/timeline of the leading figures of the related Morgan banks to supplement the chart of the organizational changes in the House of Morgan. Second,too often the author relies on a rather shorthand explanation of the financial techniques and stratagems involved in his accounts of the Morgan banking and investment empire. A little more explanation would have added to the appreciation and understanding of readers without a serious background in finance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stick With it, You'll Be Pleased
"The House of Morgan" is one of the best business biography books I've ever read. It is an unbelievably comprehensive piece of research work on an important banking history in the United States. The stories of the people behind JP Morgan & Co give readers so much hopes and belief that anything is possible in your life. Mr. Chernow covers the company's historical and current background in great detail. He also presents a more technical view on what happen in the cycles of US economy that spans over many decades. What I like most about the book is the coverage of individuals involved in building and leading the firms (JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley). These groups of talented individuals are amazing leaders whose stories are worth reading.

I thought that the first 40 pages were pretty slow, but the actions did pick up real soon. By the 700th page, I was hoping there would be a second book written on the House of Morgan. I was especially impressed with Mr. Thomas Lamont that I proceeded to read a separate biography on him. I loved the book so much that I went on to buy some other books related to it - (RJR Nabisco story on Leverage Buyout and The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst). It's a thick book but it's really worth the time to read. You'll be pleased with yourself!

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement
Ron Chernow is arguably the best business historian writing today. His ambitious attempt to tell the story of the famed banking dynasty of J.P Morgan could not have succeeded more brilliantly. Here is a story not of just a bank. It is even more than simply the story of the financial services industry. It is, in fact, the story of the modern era, where everyone from Teddy Roosevelt and Benito Mussolini to Paul Volker and Ivan Boesky figure prominently.

At the heart of this epic is a great paradox: the rise of modern global finance ushered in the demise of the banker. In J.P. Morgan's day, a small group of bankers held sway over giant corporations and the governments of global powers, serving as intimate advisors and self-regulating their industry with a strict but unwritten gentleman banker's code of conduct. The institutions that banks like Morgan created ultimately grew too powerful to control. Whereas once governments and companies were at the mercy of their bankers, today the reverse is true. Chernow tells the story of this transformation in exquisite detail and with admirable clarity.

As interesting and well written as this book is, some may still find it to be a challenge to finish. For those who like to read a few pages before bed every night, you should expect the "House of Morgan" to be on the nightstand for several months. However, if you have the time and commitment, you'll likely find the experience of reading this book to be a worthwhile and fulfilling one. ... Read more


20. The Hypomanic Edge : The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America
by John D. Gartner
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0743243447
Catlog: Book (2005-03-10)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 11793
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why is America so rich and powerful? The answer lies in our genes, according to psychologist John Gartner.

Hypomania, a genetically based mild form of mania, endows many of us with unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks. America has an extraordinarily high number of hypomanics -- grandiose types who leap on every wacky idea that occurs to them, utterly convinced it will change the world. Market bubbles and ill-considered messianic crusades can be the downside. But there is an enormous upside in terms of spectacular entrepreneurial zeal, drive for innovation, and material success. Americans may have a lot of crazy ideas, but some of them lead to brilliant inventions.

Why is America so hypomanic? It is populated primarily by immigrants. This self-selection process is the boldest natural experiment ever conducted. Those who had the will, optimism, and daring to take the leap into the unknown have passed those traits on to their descendants.

Bringing his audacious and persuasive thesis to life, Gartner offers case histories of some famous Americans who represent this phenomenon of hypomania. These are the real stories you never learned in school about some of those men who made America: Columbus, who discovered the continent, thought he was the messiah. John Winthrop, who settled and defined it, believed Americans were God's new chosen people. Alexander Hamilton, the indispensable founder who envisioned America's economic future, self-destructed because of pride and impulsive behavior. Andrew Carnegie, who began America's industrial revolution, was sure that he was destined personally to speed up human evolution and bring world peace. The Mayer and Selznick families helped create the peculiarly American art form of the Hollywood film, but familial bipolar disorders led to the fall of their empires. Craig Venter decoded the human genome, yet his arrogance made him despised by most of his scientific colleagues, even as he spurred them on to make great discoveries.

While these men are extraordinary examples, Gartner argues that many Americans have inherited the genes that have made them the most successful citizens in the world. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Gartner's Hypomanic Patient
I am a former patient of Dr. Gartner and a mentalhealth professional as well. In reading his book and then reading some of the reviews( especially the NY Times interview) I began to wonder if we were all reading the same book. I found the book to be entetaining, funny and astoundly accurate. I have treatedmany patients who are exactly as John describes in his book. I my self have or have had most of the characteristics described in "the Hypomanic Edge". When I spoke with Dr. Gartner last week he asked me what I thought, I told him you "got it right!". I have long held the view that most of the written material in field is just recycled trivia, completely useless. This book is ground breaking and we need more of John Gartner and less of Dr. Phil and his ilk who write books that are more Jacquline Susan and about as usefull as the novel "Love Story".
Psychodoc

5-0 out of 5 stars SHEDS PYSCHOLOGICAL LIGHT ON AMERICA'S SUCCESS & CHARACTER.
This nation gives unusual opportunities and celebrates the success of the hypomanic personality-one marked by an elevated mood state that may be, but is not necessarily, subject to depression. Hypomania is not an illness. The irrational confidence, ambition, vision, and zeal of these individuals has had an enormously positive impact on this nation's rise to economic prosperity. The book spotlights nine hypomanics through our history, and devotes a chapter to each of them, which is both a small biography and a clinical case history. The author concludes by offering evidence that the genetic roots of hypomania trace back to our primate ancestors. A totally absorbing and enlightening book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why didn't anyone think of this before?
It strikes me that there are two really interesting forms of writing in psychology; one that analyzes complex ideas in complex language, and one that breaks down complex ideas in simple language.Both have their place, yet neither is easy to pull off successfully.Gartner has captured the latter form of writing quite handily in The Hypomanic Edge.His central thesis, that a hypomanic character is actually a desirable way of being, is at once counterintuitive from prevailing cultural logic, and simultaneously one of those ideas that, in retrospect, seems so obviously true and useful that it's hard to imagine why we didn't think of it before.The intellectual clarity of Gartner's opening and closing chapters, coupled with the biographically and psychologically rich middle chapters on several important entrepreneurial figures through the centuries, makes for an enlightening and eminently readable book.Gartner has managed to generate a fresh angle on well-trodden clinical and historical ground.This in itself is quite noteworthy and refreshing, and I'm sure the book will be rewarding to most who open it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
John Gartner's unique new book is a tour de forceIt is a page turner which I could not put down.Dr. Gartner brings to life men from each of America's five centuries as he interweaves his story of how genetically driven mood alteration altered America. Hypomania is a form of bipolar disorder that gave these men the restless energy, incessant sleepless speech and work capacities that made them world altering giants, but also the impulsivity, reckless speech, and, with most, delusional excesses which sowed the seeds of their ultimate personal decline.The book reads like a novel but cites an impressive array of sources in over 800 footnotes to document his thesis that America is a nation of immigrants who come here because of their bipolar genes.This "immigrant drive" made America a leader in business, the arts, science, religion and finance, and Dr. Gartner demonstrates how with literary skill and clincal accuracy.

He writes of the supreme accomplishments and pathological excesses of Christopher Columbus, 17th century religious leaders, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnagie, the Hollywood Selznicks and Mayers, and the discoverer of the human genome Craig Venter.In each chapter Dr. Gartner gives the reader the background history, and sociological and technological information necessary to highlight the significance of the person's achievment.He uses written sources, but also has impressively and extensively interviewed biographers, colleagues, decendents, and
Dr. Venter himself, making the stories The Hypomanic Edge with information, surprises, humor, and compassion.

As a practicing psychoanalyst and psychiatrist I was very impressed with the scientific quality of the book, but having shared the book with several members of my family, I can attest that the the non-professional reader will find the book equally compelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A different title might have been helpful!
Don't be misled by the cursory dismissals contained in some of the "professional" reviews.I am a psychologist and I know Gartner.This is the most interesting psychology book that I have read in quite a few years.However, that is not saying much as most psychology books are uninspiring.Whether you agree with him or not (I'm not sure that I do) it is an interesting read and a well thought out presentation.If you are going to disagree with him, you will have to work at it.The link between genius and craziness has been discussed before and is not the most interesting part of this book.What is useful is the examination and documentation of the lives he chose to illustrate his thesis.More important are the implications for managing creativity and ambition.Gartner's examples are of those whose success contains the seeds of their downfall.Those of us in the field know many whose "inspired imagination" and "unrelenting drive" routinely insure that any measure of success will elude them. ... Read more


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