Up close and personal with the New Economy’s business tycoons
Microsoft’s Bill Gates, AOL-Time Warner’s Steve Case, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Cisco’s John Chambers–they’re business titans of the 21st century. We know their names well enough, but what do we really know about these men beyond the multitudes of short-hand mythologies and soundbites that currently exist. How were they able to muster the savvy and confidence to create such empires of wealth and power? What do the paths they took say about the economic realm they came to conquer? Were they true visionaries or creations of a unique moment in time? Drawing from his Pulitzer Prize-nominated series of articles in The Washington Post, Mark Leibovich provides particularly personal and in-depth profiles on these larger-than-life moguls. Presenting five whirlwind tours through five gale-force lives, this extraordinary book traces the formative events and influences in each man’s early life to explain how they came to dominate in this bizarre, revolutionary world. In addition to unprecedented access to each man himself (a privilege afforded very few reporters), Leibovich interviewed over 400 friends, childhood mentors, family members, former bosses, classmates, colleagues, and rivals who have known these uniquely driven souls at various stages of their lives.
Exclusive facts and details: · Gates spoke of breaking into tears during a Microsoft board meeting at the height of the anti-trust trial · Ellison showed the author the $100 million Japanese-style compound he’s building in Silicon Valley (no journalist had ever seen it) · A friend of Case described him boasting about his long-sought takeover of Time-Warner · Cisco Chairman John Morgridge complained that Chambers was spending too much time hobnobbing with politicians and not enough time tending to his struggling company
Topics rarely--if ever--discussed: · Gates speaking about the pain of losing his childhood best friend · Ellison reflecting on the recurring scorn he received from his father · Bezos talking about never knowing his natural father · Chambers explaining the pain of his childhood dyslexia · Case speaking about his rivalry with his AOL co-founder
After it’s all broken down, from the dazzle of the new technology to the titillation of overnight wealth and cautionary tales of subsequent loss, the New Economy can be distilled to these five cults of personality. Sure to be the season’s most compulsive read, this comprehensive work gives readers the most definitive look ever into the lives of the New Economy’s signature pioneers.
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If you use a personal computer or automated teller machine, make purchases online, or consume media of any kind, your life is directly impacted by the five digital-age visionaries profiled in The New Imperialists. Reams have already been written, of course, about Microsoft's Bill Gates, AOL-Time Warner's Steve Case, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, and Cisco's John Chambers. But Mark Leibovich, national technology reporter for The Washington Post, digs deeper here to present insightful individual portraits of these "generals of the networked world's ruling empires" that reveal what has really driven them to the leading edge of today's business universe. Based on some 400 interviews with relatives, friends, associates, and adversaries, in addition to one-on-one sessions with its usually more reticent subjects, the book offers a very readable account of key formative events and subsequent reactions that are not typically part of such titans' shared résumés. From the personal experiences that helped shape their generally serene youth--Ellison "had difficulty telling the truth," for example, while Chambers "battled dyslexia and for a time believed he was stupid"--to the public manifestations that now affect millions, Leibovich presents eye-opening accounts recommended for anyone drawn to the human stories behind our day's most ubiquitous corporate names. --Howard RothmanFrom the Publisher:
Advance Quotes “In this extraordinary book, Mark Leibovich takes readers behind the curtain and gives us penetrating close-ups of five wizards of the information age. We glimpse these "New Imperialists" and come to understand how their personal traits -- pride that sometimes lapses into hubris, competitiveness that can be childish, idealism, greed, brilliance and decency -- help shape business decisions. Too few business books peek behind the curtain at the human beings who are too often hailed as wizards, or treated as bums. This is a book to read, ponder, and treasure.” Ken Auletta, The New Yorker “Other writers have chronicled the accomplishments of the techno-elite. However, nobody has gotten beyond the fluff, behind the curtain and the under the skin of the men who've done the accomplishing better than Mark Leibovich. The New Imperialists entertains as much as it informs. The reader finally will "get" what all this fuss over Silicon Valley is all about while at the same time being served up healthy doses of skepticism to temper the enthusiasm.”
Adam Lashinsky, contributing writer, Fortune Magazine "For all the celebrity attention these titans have received, it's amazing how little we really knew about them. Not anymore. In this beautifully written book, Mark Leibovich captures the brilliance, desperation and just plain weirdness of the New Economy's most audacious generals. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand one of the most powerful and perplexing periods in economic history." David Ignatius, Executive Editor, International Herald Tribune “ This book is a badly needed, fuller portrait of the un-elected corporate chieftains who bestride the global economy. Well-written and packed with amusing and sometimes disturbing anecdotes, The New Imperialists turns the Great Man view of history and focuses it squarely on otherwise blurry technology potentates.” Dave Kansas, former editor-in-chief of TheStreet.com “Mark Leibovich has accomplished something rare in this compelling book, pulling back the curtain to fully show the reality of this amazing collection of Oz-like technology wizards. His work is at once informative, funny, and frightening.”
David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered and First In His Class
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