A well put together biography with the right level of detail into the life of Andrew Carnegie. You see him not as a unapproachable titan destined to where he ended, but as a nuanced man with the typical characteristics we all have, with the advantage of having been a "boy in the room" at the right time to get his capitalistic start.
I am currently researching many legendary businessman and had previously listened to "The Rockefellers" by Peter Collier & David Horowitz. "Titan" provides everything that "The Rockefellers" lacks (which is a ton). While one could view them as being complimentary, if you are to choose between the two, "Titan" is the one to go with, hands down. Highly recommended.
This is one of the best entrepreneurial books I've read. Ben Horowitz understands what it means to start a company at a level deeper than my current understanding and conveys it in a manner making me want a sequel. Delivery is good as well, which prompted me to listen to this twice in a week as I traveled between home base and clients. For those in the trenches of the struggle, this is a rare find. Read it, you won't regret it.
I haven't any idea who paid for this book to be written, but the result is troubling all around. There is never a point that the author outright states he loathes his subjects, but by the handling of topics and general presentation of the subject matter, one can clearly discern his hatred of the Koch family. Which is strange as he clearly had significant access to information suggesting the Koch family was to some degree involved. The entire point of this book seems to be to showcase a political agenda which is made completely apparent in the last 2 hours of audio. I do not support the Koch's political views, and as intended by the author personally dislike the Koch family intensely after listening to this audio book, but I dislike the author even more for the dis-ingenuousness of the narrative. I view this as character assassination of a family that has achieved great things and deserved a more balanced view of them as individuals.
If one is interested in learning about the Koch family, don't read this book. If you are interested in reinforcing your pre-held beliefs of the evil Koch family's hold over American politics, you'll enjoy this book. But then you're wasting your time as you won't learn anything new from it.
I run a diverse holding company and at times perform healthcare consulting and have had the pleasure to see many healthcare systems from the inside out. This book laid bare many principles that I had seen but not understood on a conscious level as to what made one hospital a pleasant place to work and another dreadful with employees backbiting, gossiping, and undercutting each other. This truly should be read by every executive, in the healthcare industry or not, as it is the theoretical basis for Customer Relationship Management software, and provides a framework to structure how organizations meet customer's, and employee's needs. Wonderful book.
I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell's work, but was immensely let down by this book. Approximately 50% of the book I had already read in various New Yorker articles and the like that Gladwell had written over about 10 years, and here he simply tried to jam them all together with a realistic interpretation of David and Goliath at the beginning to try and make them all gel. If you're new to Gladwell, certainly look to his earlier works like Blink, Tipping Point, and Outliers which all have interesting tidbits that you can apply to your life and business. This on the other hand didn't flow or form any ideas in my head that weren't of the most plain variety.
The author does a wonderful job with the life of Thomas and Andrew Mellon presenting the essence of what it took to build the family fortune. He presents a good analysis of the sacrifices necessary and emotional/personality holes in A.W.'s psyche and some of their consequences on him and his family. Of the biographies of the great industrialists I've read, this one is the most interesting due to the varied life A.W. led and the story that was told of a nearly completely forgotten titan.
This book was disappointing on a couple of levels. 1) the target was too broad and therefore the level of detail insufficient, 2) the presentation was the worst I have ever heard. Chronic editing problems where the performer spoke softly while reading the majority and then would get this blaring voice in voice-overs where he didn't. Further, the reading in my mind wasn't fully appropriate as he switched to his..."lesser" voice when reading quotes from certain people, certainly several of the Rockefellers, but also all women. The voice that is put on is whiny and unpleasant, which for the first many hours you think is his projection of an opinion of Jr., but later learn it's an artifact of the presentation which changes the emotional reaction to certain characters in an unfortunate way.
Useful enough of a book with good points. A slightly different take on the same subject as Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people," which if I were to choose between the two I would go with Dale Carnegie's seminal book as the message here isn't as direct, but if you're interested in the subject and have already read/listened to Mr. Carnegie's, then this is a good compliment.
An interesting biography, pleasantly read. Has a slightly different structure of not quite following chronological order, but instead follows a chronological order of stories, focusing on each story for hours, before moving onto the next. I found this style enjoyable as you didn't have to wait hours/days/or weeks to find out what happened with a certain thing like you do in most biographies, but it was confusing as once the story was done, it jumps back to a previous year to begin at the beginning of another story. So there is this odd time ambiguity of about 5 years usually which my brain has had some trouble ordering. The effect is worth it though, as it does make for a better "story" than most biographies. Not many single human beings have ever waged "war" with guns, stocks, and ships the way the Commodore did; fascinating.
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