14 Must Read Business Biographies

  14 Must Read Business Biographies

Books in list (14)


Title: Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire

Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses—that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell. A riveting account of ambition, oil, and greed, Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. The beginning of the twentieth century is a time when vast fortunes were made and lost. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, to the halls of the British Parliament, and right down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a richly detailed, fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world’s richest man at his own game.
Author(s): Peter B. Doran
ISBN 13: 9780525427391
Pages: 352
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Title: Made in Japan Akio Morita and SONY

Sony is one of the most powerful and respected multinational corporations in the world, and Akio Morita is its outspoken chairman. From his global perspective, Morita provides an informative and highly entertaining look at how Japanese business really works.
Author(s): Akio Morita;Edwin M. Reingold;Mitsuko Shimomura
ISBN 13: 9783811878273
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Title: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.” Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.” When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write. Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.
Author(s): Alice Schroeder
ISBN 13: 9780553384611
Pages: 816
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Title: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--history's first billionaire and the patriarch of America's most famous dynasty--is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul "etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace . . . as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have" (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller's exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist.
Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world's richest man by creating America's most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.
Rockefeller was likely the most controversial businessman in our nation's history. Critics charged that his empire was built on unscrupulous tactics: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, industrial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officials. The titan spent more than thirty years dodging investigations until Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters embarked on a marathon crusade to bring Standard Oil to bay.
While providing abundant new evidence of Rockefeller's misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to sketch an unforgettably human portrait of a quirky, eccentric original. A devout Baptist and temperance advocate, Rockefeller gave money more generously--his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University--than anyone before him. Titan presents a finely nuanced portrait of a fascinating, complex man, synthesizing his public and private lives and disclosing numerous family scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that have never before come to light.
John D. Rockefeller's story captures a pivotal moment in American history, documenting the dramatic post-Civil War shift from small business to the rise of giant corporations that irrevocably transformed the nation. With cameos by Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Jay Gould, William Vanderbilt, Ida Tarbell, Andrew Carnegie, Carl Jung, J. Pierpont Morgan, William James, Henry Clay Frick, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers, Titan turns Rockefeller's life into a vivid tapestry of American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is Ron Chernow's signal triumph that he narrates this monumental saga with all the sweep, drama, and insight that this giant subject deserves. From the Hardcover edition.

Author(s): Ron Chernow
ISBN 13: 9781400077304
Pages: 832
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Title: Sam Walton, Made in America

Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed 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, inimitable words. Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions 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.
Author(s): Sam Walton;John Huey
ISBN 13: 9780553562835
Pages: 346
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Title: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers. Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.
Author(s): Phil Knight
ISBN 13: 9781501135910
Pages: 400
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Title: Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the most amazing business stories in decades. What started as a single store on Seattle's waterfront has grown into a company with over sixteen hundred stores worldwide and a new one opening every single business day. Just as remarkable as this incredible growth is the fact that Starbucks has managed to maintain its renowned commitment to product excellence and employee satisfaction. In Pour Your Heart Into It, CEO Howard Schultz illustrates the principles that have shaped the Starbucks phenomenon, sharing the wisdom he has gained from his quest to make great coffee part of the American experience. Marketers, managers, and aspiring entrepreneurs will discover how to turn passion into profit in this definitive chronicle of the company that "has changed everything . . . from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." (Fortune)
Author(s): Howard Schultz;Dori jones Yang
ISBN 13: 9780786883561
Pages: 368
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Title: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

New York Times Bestseller - Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Audible and Amazon In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk--one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history--is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.
Author(s): Ashlee Vance
ISBN 13: 9780062301239
Pages: 400
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Title: The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

Part Two Of Two Parts

THE HOUSE OF MORGAN, a 1990 National Book Award winner, may be the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. It is a rich panoramic story of four generations of Morgans, of the firms they built, of their private alliances and public feuds, and of a presence that continues to this day.

Yet THE HOUSE OF MORGAN is more than any of these. It is the story of the colorful J. Pierpont Morgan with his colossal collection, numerous mistresses and Corsair, his cruiser-size yacht...of his son, J.P., who financed the Allies in WW I and fought with FDR...and of other famous families, the DuPonts, Astors, Vanderbilts and their ilk.

"A penetrating look at the real power (money) behind the historical events, and the industrial empires that have transformed the world." (Publisher's Source)

The most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty, The House of Morgan traces the astonishing path of the J.P. Morgan empire with the sweep of an epic novel. "Brilliantly researched and written" (The Wall Street Journal), the hardcover was recently named winner of the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction. 32 pages of photographs.

Author(s): Ron Chernow
ISBN 13: 9780802144652
Pages: 848
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Title: Direct from Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry

At nineteen, Michael Dell started his company as a freshman at the University of Texas with $1,000 and has since built an industry powerhouse. As Dell journeys through his childhood adventures, ups and downs, and mistakes made along the way, he reflects on invaluable lessons learned.

Michael Dell's revolutionary insight has allowed him to persevere against all odds, and Direct from Dell contains valuable information for any business leader. His strategies will show you effective ways to grow your business and will help you save time on costly mistakes by following his direct model for success.

Author(s): Michael Dell
ISBN 13: 9780060845728
Pages: 272
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Title: Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s “enthralling” (The New Yorker) worldwide bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs—the inspiration for the movie Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels, directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Isaacson’s portrait touched millions of readers. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Author(s): Walter Isaacson
ISBN 13: 9781501127625
Pages: 656
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Title: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World

A riveting chronicle of scientific history recounts the race among three great titans of the Gilded Age--inventor Thomas Alva Edison, creator of the incandescent light bulb; eccentric genius Nikola Tesla; and George Westinghouse, a tough ...
Author(s): Jill Jonnes
ISBN 13: 9780375758843
Pages: 424
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Title: Andrew Carnegie

Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called "a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst," brings new life to the story of one of America's most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists—in what will prove to be the biography of the season. Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as dramatically and vividly as in Nasaw's new biography. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public—a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism—Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma. Nasaw explains how Carnegie made his early fortune and what prompted him to give it all away, how he was drawn into the campaign first against American involvement in the Spanish-American War and then for international peace, and how he used his friendships with presidents and prime ministers to try to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. With a trove of new material—unpublished chapters of Carnegie's Autobiography; personal letters between Carnegie and his future wife, Louise, and other family members; his prenuptial agreement; diaries of family and close friends; his applications for citizenship; his extensive correspondence with Henry Clay Frick; and dozens of private letters to and from presidents Grant, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, and British prime ministers Gladstone and Balfour, as well as friends Herbert Spencer, Matthew Arnold, and Mark Twain—Nasaw brilliantly plumbs the core of this facinating and complex man, deftly placing his life in cultural and political context as only a master storyteller can.
Author(s): David Nasaw
ISBN 13: 9780143112440
Pages: 878
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Title: The HP Way

Much more personal than standard corporate histories, David Packard's The HP Way provides insights into managing and motivating people and inspiration for would–be entrepreneurs. This bestselling classic joins the Collins Business Essentials line–up with a new Note from Steve Jobs. From a one–car–garage company to a multibillion–dollar industry, the rise of Hewlett–Packard is an extraordinary tale of vision, innovation and hard work. Conceived in 1939, Hewlett–Packard earned success not only as a result of its engineering know–how and cutting–edge product ideas, but also because of the unique management style it developed – a way of doing things called 'the HP way'. Decades before today's creative management trends, Hewlett–Packard invented such strategies as 'walk–around management', 'flextime', and 'quality cycles'. Always sensitive to the needs of its customers and responsive to employee input, Hewlett–Packard earned massive steady growth that far outshone its competitors' vacillating fortunes, even with radically different products from those responsible for its initial boom. For entrepreneurs and managers alike, the wisdom found in these pages is invaluable if they want their businesses to gain steady growth and consistent success.
Author(s): David Packard
ISBN 13: 9780060845797
Pages: 256
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