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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

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Leftists will hate it

The US capitalist system is still the great equalizer. Anyone can make it with common sense, hard work and an idea. The modern academy won’t admit it, but it’s true. Langone lived it, and tells it well.

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  • Eric
  • ANGIER, NC, United States
  • 01-16-19

Nice read

I like books where the author reads it and since this somewhat of an autobiography made it even better. Hearing someone's life story about how they became wealthy is a bit inspiring that others can do similar. There's a bit of language/swearing throughout the book, it's not too terrible, but I wouldn't let kids listen to it.

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Not easy to understand his voice.

usually I prefer audio books to paper books, but I would rather read this time because his voice is too vague to understand.

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Inspiring and really full of fun story

Had so much fun listening to every single minute of the story! The fact that is read by ken himself makes it even more interesting! Great book! Great ideas come out of it and tons of knowledge being shared!

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One of my Favorites

I felt as though my grand dad was telling me these amazing and intriguing adventures. Laugh out loud (I did) and enjoy the most interesting life and stories of Ken Langone.

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Fantastic book!!!! A top 10 for me for sure!

This is a fantastic memoir! His voice is a little gravelly from time to time and hard to listen to at times. But, I wouldn't have it any other way! To hear his stories in his New York City accent is great. This book has great stories that illustrate the benefits of hard work, initiative, taking risks, generosity, helping others and doing the right thing and how they can all come back to benefit you. If you love business and hearing success stories, you will love this book!

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  • andy
  • HUDSONVILLE, MI, United States
  • 12-29-18

Excellent lessons and entertaining stories

If you love stories about business and human nature this book is great. I enjoyed hearing Ken Langone tell his own story instead of a narrator. If a billionaire takes the time to do the audiobook himself you know he really cares about how his story comes across.Somehow I never heard of this man before but so glad I got the book.definitely worth the listen

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a reference to remember

thanks Ken! the lessons you shared via your life story is just what I've been seeking.

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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.