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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

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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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Terrific lessons on business, investing and life.

Thanks, Mr Langone! Great insights into dealing with the opportunities life provides. Amazing success story with life lessons to consider.

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I Love "I Love Capitalism!"

This was an absolutely fantastic book. Ken Langone's gravely voice and NY accent might be off putting to some listeners but for me it added a touch of realism to the story that otherwise might not have been there with a professional reader. His life is an amazing story of grit, hard work and luck that so many Americans can relate to. One of the best biographies I've listened to. #FeelGood #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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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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Riveting Lifetime Review

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire run of Langone's life, from young boy to present, and with the courage to include the less-than-flattering parts as well. Wasn't aware that he was so active on Wall Street before his Home Depot days.

Always good to hear the author read his own material.

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great story truthful and informative.

one word rings throughout entire book. integrity.
thank you Mr. Langone. I enjoyed listening every minute

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Great story Great story teller

Always impressed with Home Depot and their service and Langone NYU. He transformed a good medical center into one of the world's best medical center. His philosophy of life and his generosity are inspiring. Loved the book and passed it on to several people

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  • 10-13-18

Loved it

Great story! Thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end. Ken is humble yet aggressive in his actions.

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Loved this book.

I truly enjoyed this awesome book. Very inspirational and it demonstrates how you can make it in America, if you work hard and apply yourself.

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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.