Friday, June 27, 2014

Great Business Reads for a Busy Summer.

It's summertime! Nothing completes the summer like a good book. Whether you are hitting the exotic beach, taking a staycation in your hometown or backpacking, we have assembled a list of entertaining and dramatic business biographies for you to enjoy.

The big rich: the rise and fall of the greatest Texas oil fortunes by Bryan Burrough

Bryan Burrough brings to life the men known as the Big Four oil dynasties: Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, and Sid Richardson. “This book is an entertaining look at the larger-than-life histories of the incomprehensibly rich and powerful. While it's an extensively researched synthesis of a time and a place, it avoids a dry, academic tone through the natural drama of these miniature empires and the truly bizarre characters that inhabited them. Library Journal

Lords of finance: the bankers who broke the world by Liaquat Ahamed

Investment banker Ahamed, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, 2010, tells the fascinating story of the Great Depression and the central bankers whose decisions were the primary cause of the economic meltdown from 1929 to 1933. They were Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Emile Moreau of the Banque de France, Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Ahamed concludes that the Great Depression was not an act of God, but resulted directly from a series of collective blunders in economic policy.  Booklist

Den of Thieves by James B. Stewart

Pulitzer Prize–winner James B. Stewart shows how four of the 1980s biggest names on Wall Street—Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and Dennis Levine —created the greatest insider-trading ring in financial history and almost walked away with billions, until a team of downtrodden detectives triumphed over some of America’s most expensive lawyers to bring this powerful quartet to justice. Based on secret grand jury transcripts, interviews, and actual trading records, Den of Thieves gives a portrait of human nature, big business, and crime of unparalleled proportions. publisher

The first tycoon: the epic life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T. J. Stiles

In this ground-breaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through his genius and force of will, did more than perhaps any other individual to create modern capitalism. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The First Tycoon describes an improbable life, from Vanderbilt’s humble birth during the presidency of George Washington to his death as one of the richest men in American history. 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Biography.  publisher

When Hollywood had a king: the reign of Lew Wasserman, who leveraged talent into power and influence by Connie Bruck

Lew Wasserman arrived in Hollywood in 1939 to help Jules Stein transform MCA from a band-booking company into a talent agency for movie stars. Wasserman's career possesses a kind of epic symmetry: by freeing the stars of the 1940s from the servitude of studio contracts, he effectively ended the era of the movie moguls, only to become the greatest mogul of them all. But, as Bruck explains in painstaking but absorbing detail, Wasserman redefined the role of the mogul. This is the most revealing look at the business of Hollywood.  Booklist

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