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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

Iconoclastic entrepreneur and New York legend Ken Langone tells the compelling story of how a poor boy from Long Island became one of America's most successful businessmen.

Ken Langone has seen it all on his way to a net worth beyond his wildest dreams. A pillar of corporate America for decades, he's a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a world-class philanthropist (including $200 million for NYU's Langone Health). In this memoir he finally tells the story of his unlikely rise and controversial career. It's also a passionate defense of the American Dream - of preserving a country in which any hungry kid can reach the maximum potential of his or her talents and work ethic.

In a series of fascinating stories, Langone shows how he struggled to get an education, break into Wall Street, and scramble for an MBA at night while competing with privileged competitors by day. He shares how he learned how to evaluate what a business is worth and apply his street smarts to eight-figure and nine-figure deals. And he's not shy about discussing, for the first time, his epic legal and PR battle with former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer.

His ultimate theme is that free enterprise is the key to giving everyone a leg up. As he writes:   

This book is my love song to capitalism. Capitalism works! And I'm living proof - it works for everybody. Absolutely anybody is entitled to dream big, and absolutely everybody should dream big. I did. Show me where the silver spoon was in my mouth. I've got to argue profoundly and passionately: I'm the American Dream.

©2018 Ken Langone (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good autobiography

Ken Langone’s story is an inspiration to those who think you have to be rich to make it big in America. His story shows that it is not only possible but definitely doable IF you are willing to work hard and take chances. It’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.

His best advice for capitalism is at the end of the book. Take care of All of your people. From the bottom up. That’s how you have a successful company. Too often today companies only care about their bottom line and are happy to get rid of their people. They should take lessons from Ken. Because they don’t, we get young people wanting Bernie Sanders. They need to change or capitalism will be over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • james
  • Gulf Stream, FL, United States
  • 05-19-18

Great Story..

I really enjoyed the book and some of the anecdotes were priceless. The best was Ross Perot losing out on making a 2 million dollar investment that would roughly be worth 150 billion today. Why? Read the book and find out.. Great job Ken.
Jim Power

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book, amazing man!

Loved this book! Great story of how hard work can make you a huge success! Loved hearing it read by Mr. Langone. Made me proud to be Italian!

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Terrific!! Wow

What a great story! Ken makes you feel like you were right there....he stuck to his principles ...

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Bought for Home Depot ties, cherished for all else

Ken Langone has accomplished more in his lifetime than can be summed up in the Home Depot cofounder byline. I naively expected this to be the story of building Home Depot and was surprised to learn that was but one thing he's accomplished against a great number of odds. I marveled at his tenacity, he has unearthed tremendous success due to his faith, integrity, drive, spirit and unwavering people-minded focus. His ventures have created wealth, employment and opportunities for hundreds of thousands, this is true capitalism. He further inspires me to create the same with our American-owned, Myanmar-based, Pathway Moving company.

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Ken is an Amazing Storyteller

Wow. What a performance by Ken. Get this now! He keeps you captivated and is such an amazing lesson that capitalism is not a zero sum game.

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My favorite

My Favorite so far
it is always nice when the writer narrates the book about their life story...
Nice Job Ken Langone !!

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A great american story!

I learned of this book on independence day while listening to Mr. Langone on a national radio program. How appropriate it was to learn of this book on our nation's birthday. This book is a true story of american opportunity and hard work. An inspiring and gripping listen. I would recommend this book to everyone.

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Unbelievable book

I love this book. What a fantastic listen and Ken is someone we need to learn from. Must read. Great lessons.

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Superb example of the value of Capitalism

I devoured this book. You will too hard to put down. I love these stories of success from the trenches to the boardroom and beyond. Thanks for the encouragement. This should be required reading for students.

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  • bonde
  • 07-08-18

Kenneth Langone is an example of Good Business

I love capitalistism too! many entrepreneur s should study the character of men such as Kenneth Langone

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  • Teodor K.
  • 06-20-18

What a story

I loved the book from the very start. Ken Langone is such a character. He’s one of the best example of how to be a man of your words. I think the book is a gem in business category. A must read for a business oriented minds.