"I'm like the gunfighter you hire to save the town. That gunfighter is there to do good...but he'll only do what he does if he knows he'll get paid for it."
In this dramatic, deal-by-deal portrait of legendary and, until now, secretive financier Carl Icahn, best-selling business writer Mark Stevens takes us behind the scenes of some of the biggest deals in U.S. corporate history: Icahn's multibillion-dollar raid on Phillips Petroleum; his bold move on Texaco's hidebound management, which netted him $500 million in the largest single transaction ever recorded by the New York Stock Exchange; Icahn's prolonged battle with CEO David Roderick to break apart the once mighty steel giant USX; and his stunning takeover of TWA.
To write this fascinating audiobook, Mark Stevens has utilized to the ultimate his incisive investigative skills and his extraordinary access to Icahn himself as well as Icahn's friends, associates, adversaries, and critics - those who rode on his takeover bandwagon, and those who fell beneath its wheeling and dealing. The story he has to tell is that of a bookish boy from Bayswater who went to Princeton, studied philosophy, dropped out of medical school, landed as a minor player on Wall Street, and then had a billion-dollar epiphany - a means of "controlling the destiny of corporations" that would ultimately earn him his fortune.
A fascinating tale with a cast of characters that includes Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, T. Boone Pickens, Dennis Levine, and most of the other key players of the '70s and '80s takeover era, King Icahn is the first biography of the business buccaneer who changed the course of corporate America.
©1993 Mark Stevens (P)2010 Gildan
King Icahn is an excellently written and read book about one of the best capitalists of all time. The author's voice fits perfectly considering the book is about a New York street fighter come corporate raider.
This book is a must for anyone interested in capitalists and all things capital related. Mr. Stevens is not sycophantic and seems unbiased. The book goes into significant detail regarding some of the bigger deals in Carl's life up to the publishing date. The events are set up nicely and are presented in the form of chapters that make it easy to follow.
This review was written after my second time listening the audiobook. It isn't numbers heavy so you won't need to reference the physical book. If invest in companies you really should read or listen to this book.
I like King Icahn because it tells the story and lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
Get a different narrator. Some writers should never read their books and this is a fine example. I should have listened to the sample before buying it. This narrator is so terrible that I cannot listen to this book anymore. I have to stop halfway.
Story is fine but narrator is terrible.
Pick a different narrator. I could have done a better job.
I would love to see the movie.
Once again, good book but terrible narrator. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and this is by far the worse narration. Period.
This is a particularly interesting book for people who like corporate finance and M&A. Much detai about the deals, strategy and economic environment of the times. Direct personal and or psycological insights are less of a focus. Icahn is quite the larger than life character.
Anyone wondering whether (s)he has the "minerals" (as the Brits say) to jump into the deep end of corporate M&A ought to give this little gem a listening-to. Carl Icahn as depicted here was at the same moment a sharp-elbowed, hugely exasperating, and skillful, brilliant intruder into formerly staid halls of US corporate life. He's the kind of guy who, no matter how you personally feel about him or his ways of business, is going to be here and in your face and involved in your affairs if he wants to be. And he wants to be, if his brilliant tactical multi-level chess-playing mind can see a way to make money. (I imagine he might launch into the shareholder value enhancement speech at this point, which I came to see as often correct. But only consistent with his profits.) Unlike another reviewer, I found the author's street-level east-coast accent a perfect fit here. I was surprised the author got access to Icahn himself, as the author at turns is quite critical of him. That's all for the better.
Strategic takeover artist
Icahn of course. The book goes through a complete timeline of Icahn's rise to becoming the takeover giant. Many of the stories consist of boardroom discussions and negotiations with CEOs.
The discussions between Icahn and Hammermill.
It is a bit too long for me to listen to in one sitting, but it is pretty easy to pick back up on after stopping the book for a couple of days.
I thought the narrator was great for the book. The narrator has a New York accent that makes it seem like he is somewhere on Times Square, standing on a soap box, screaming out the story of Carl Icahn.
The story was great. The narrator/author's reading style was very enjoyable.
Icahn booking enormous profits against Texaco and TWA
Just some guy that likes to listen to things that inspire thought. I've grown tired of the insipidness of music and opinion pieces that now pass for "news". Just looking for inspiration and education.
There have been a lot of news items that I've seen over the year that I never had any idea that had to do with Carl Icahn. Listening to the TWA portion was probably my favorite. Like him or hate him, you'll probably have a new view of Mr. Icahn when you finish this book.
If you run a public company, you had better run it right or Carl might take you to task on it.
I think it a very interesting read for people in finance, especially in active asset management, also shows that a person with a strong will cal shape his world
"Good writers don't make good readers"
Why do authors feel they have the skill to read their books? Great story, poor narration
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