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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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inspiring entrepreneurial American tale !

one of the best reads ever of the story of ken Langone co founder of home depot!

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personal history of a hardworking and lucky man

I wish the author dug deeper into the economics of the deals he has made. He made it sound like it is all about negotiation and personal style - but then again, maybe it is. In general, I prefer stories told from multiple angles (e.g. King of Capital, Bad Blood, Barbarians).

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Inspirational. BUT...

One can't just decide to be a risk taker. Part of it is ingrained, the other part is directing it to one's benefit. He's the BEST example of making the most of one's gumption.

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Everyone should read this book!

It is all here: hard work, integrity, respect for others, honesty! What a terrific book. I wish it could be required reading in high school

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  • w.
  • 09-12-18

insight and ethics from one of the greats

I think I've listened to this book three times back to back to back. awesome

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  • --
  • 09-08-18

Spectacular

Authentic, adventurous, amazing life story. Langone shares lessons applicable for all walks of life. I’m recommending this book to reader pals of all ages, especially young people.

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Must Read / Listen

Facinating business book and story. Many takeaways and it's entertaining along the way. Its awesome that Ken is the narrator so you can feel the passion.

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very interesting bio you can learn from!

very good book. a fascinating story told from the heart. last chapter the best. great

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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.