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King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist | [Mark Stevens]

King Icahn: The Biography of a Renegade Capitalist

In this dramatic 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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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."
—Carl Icahn

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jonathan SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-15-13
    Jonathan SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible Narrator"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Story is fine but narrator is terrible.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Pick a different narrator. I could have done a better job.


    Could you see King Icahn being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I would love to see the movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Once again, good book but terrible narrator. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks and this is by far the worse narration. Period.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 07-25-14
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 07-25-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Fine corporate history of a tough arena"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth AUSTIN, TX, United States 05-22-13
    Kenneth AUSTIN, TX, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "All hail the King!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    junger8 04-17-13
    junger8 04-17-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story and great narrator"
    If you could sum up King Icahn in three words, what would they be?

    Strategic takeover artist


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The discussions between Icahn and Hammermill.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Plano, TX, United States 02-11-13
    Rick Plano, TX, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2007

    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.

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    "Very Enjoyable and Interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to King Icahn the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    If you run a public company, you had better run it right or Carl might take you to task on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marek warszawa, Poland 09-27-12
    marek warszawa, Poland 09-27-12
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    "for investors"
    What made the experience of listening to King Icahn the most enjoyable?

    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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    manaf 09-26-12
    manaf 09-26-12
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    "OK not excellent"
    What would have made King Icahn better?

    make it less repetitive
    and mor about the person


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    i guess u can skip some details make it more concise


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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