This life of George Eastman is the first biography since 1930 of the man who transformed the world of photography. As a 23-year-old bank clerk, Eastman bought his first camera and began simplifying the cumbersome and messy wet-plate process. With only two years' experience, he patented a dry-plate coating machine and began selling photographic plates. Soon, the business was doing so well that he quit his job at the bank and started his own company.
Eastman's success was based in part on his own inventions, but even more on his ability to raise capital, recruit technically skilled employees, sell his own products, and outmaneuver his competitors. In this revealing and informative new biography, Brayer shows us how such key innovations as roll film and the light, hand-held camera helped the Eastman Kodak Company dominate the world market.
More importantly, Brayer draws a vivid portrait of the man behind the money. Eastman worked hard at keeping out of the limelight and even insisted that his donations be kept anonymous, prompting the Boston Globe to call him "America's most modest and least- known millionaire." His aggressive business personality was a sharp contrast to his personal life: Eastman once joked that it was his goal to take two six-month vacations in a year. He would regularly forsake the office to bicycle around Europe or ride a stagecoach through the snowy trails of Yellowstone Park. He was an art lover, who once bartered 60 shares of Kodak stock in the 1890s for a painting he felt he must have, and a classical music enthusiast, who built a school for the training of virtuosos.
Despite his retirement in 1925, Eastman showed little sign of slowing down. Making moneyhad been interesting, but putting money to work became more so. In the 1920s he designed a special camera for use in orthodontia and established elaborate dental clinics for needy children in Rochester, London, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, and Rome. He oversaw the building of the Eastman Theatre and the Eastman School of Music. His contributions built a new campus for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a new medical school for the University of Rochester. Finally, he became the largest contributor to the education of African Americans during the 1920s and the Tuskeegee Institute's most important benefactor.
No woman in the Gilded Age made as much money as Hetty Green, America's first female tycoon. A strong woman who forged her own path, she was worth at least $100 million by the end of her life in 1916--equal to about $2.5 billion today.Green was mocked for her simple Quaker ways and her unfashionable frugality in an era of opulence and excess; the press even nicknamed her "The Witch of Wall Street." But those who knew her admired her wit and wisdom, and while financiers around her rose and fell as financial bubbles burst, she steadily amassed a fortune that supported businesses, churches, municipalities, and even the city of New York. Janet Wallach's engrossing biography reveals striking parallels between past financial crises and current recession woes, and speaks not only to history buffs but to today's investors, who just might learn a thing or two from Hetty Green.
Named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Business Week, and GQ, THE CHIEF: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM RANDLOPH HEARST is "an absorbing and ingeniously organized biography . . . of the most powerful publisher America has ever known" (New York Times Book Review). Drawing on papers and interviews that were previously unavailable, as well as on newly released documentation of interactions with such figures as Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, every president from Grover Cleveland to Franklin Roosevelt, and movie giants Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Irving Thalberg, David Nasaw completes the picture of this colossal American "engagingly, lucidly and fair-mindedly" (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.).
"Outstandingly researched, elegantly but not flamboyantly written, and fair in its conclusions about Hearst's astonishing career" (Wall Street Journal), THE CHIEF "must be regarded as the definitive study . . . It's hard to imagine a more complete rendering of Hearst's life" (Business Week).
Mr. China tells the rollicking story of a young man who goes to China with the misguided notion that he will help bring the Chinese into the modern world, only to be schooled by the most resourceful and creative operators he would ever meet. Part memoir, part parable, Mr. China is one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.
The United States is currently embroiled in a national debate over the growing public health crisis caused by poor diet. People are starting to ask who is to blame and how can we fix the problem, especially among children. Major food companies are responding with a massive public relations campaign. These companies, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and General Mills, are increasingly on the defensive. In response, they pretend to sell healthier food and otherwise position themselves as "part of the solution." Yet they continue to lobby against commonsense nutrition policies. Appetite for Profit exposes this hypocrisy and explains how to fight back by offering reliable resources. Readers will learn how to spot the PR and how to organize to improve food in schools and elsewhere. For the first time, author Michele Simon explains why we cannot trust food corporations to "do the right thing." She describes the local battles of going up against the powerful food lobbies and offers a comprehensive guide to the public relations, front groups, and lobbying tactics that food companies employ to trick the American public. Simon also provides an entertaining glossary that explains corporate rhetoric, including phrases like "better-for-you foods" and "frivolous lawsuit."
How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect timing--and some unexpected help from powerful members of the Busch dynasty, the very family that had run the company for more than a century. In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh, the award-winning financial journalist who led coverage of the takeover for the Financial Times, details how the drama that unfolded at Anheuser-Busch in 2008 went largely unreported as the world tumbled into a global economic crisis second only to the Great Depression. Today, as the dust settles, questions are being asked about how the "King of Beers" was so easily captured by a foreign corporation, and whether the company's fall mirrors America's dwindling financial and political dominance as a nation.
- Discusses how the takeover of Anheuser-Busch will be seen as a defining moment in U.S. business history
- Reveals the critical missteps taken by the Busch family and the Anheuser-Busch board
- Argues that Anheuser-Busch had a chance to save itself from InBev's clutches, but infighting and dysfunctionality behind the scenes forced it to capitulate
From America's heartland to the European continent to Brazil, Dethroning the King is the ultimate corporate caper and a fascinating case study that's both wide reaching and profound.
After conquering the hallowed halls of Harvard Business School, an Italian-American kid from the streets of Brooklyn decides to take on the testosterone-fueled Merc Exchange in lower Manhattan--where billions of dollars in oil money trade hands every week and where fistfights are known to break out on the trading floor.
Soon our hero is living the good life in the gold-lined hotel palaces of Dubai and on private yachts in Monte Carlo, teeming with half-naked girls flown in by Saudi sheikhs, and making deals in the dangerous back alleys of Beijing. But that's only the beginning. Taken under the wing of another young gun and partnering with a mysterious young Muslim, the kid embarks on a dangerous adventure to revolutionize the oil trading industry--and, along with it, the world.
This is a true story.
From agriculture to big business, from medicine to politics, The Cigarette Century is the definitive account of how smoking came to be so deeply implicated in our culture, science, policy, and law. No product has been so heavily promoted or has become so deeply entrenched in American consciousness. The Cigarette Century shows in striking detail how one ephemeral (and largely useless) product came to play such a dominant role in so many aspects of our lives--and deaths.