Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

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In September 2007, Forbes named him the second richest person in the world after Bill Gates. Yet Warren Buffett was an elusive figure before Roger Lowenstein brought him and his riveting life story to light. Buffett is more than a book about a billionaire's brilliant strategy for success. It is an American epic about the inspiring and at times eccentric values of a business leader and investing legend. Now with a new Afterword reflecting on, among other things, Buffett's recent commitment to give away his fortune...
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Overview

In September 2007, Forbes named him the second richest person in the world after Bill Gates. Yet Warren Buffett was an elusive figure before Roger Lowenstein brought him and his riveting life story to light. Buffett is more than a book about a billionaire's brilliant strategy for success. It is an American epic about the inspiring and at times eccentric values of a business leader and investing legend. Now with a new Afterword reflecting on, among other things, Buffett's recent commitment to give away his fortune to charity-the largest such donation in American history-Buffett is even more of a revelation and remains an unforgettable reading experience.

Starting from scratch, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Warren Buffett amassed one of the epochal fortunes of the 20th century--an astounding net worth of ten billion dollars, and counting. Journalist Roger Lowenstein draws on three years of unprecedented access to Buffett's family, friends, and colleagues to provide the first definitive, inside account of the life and career of this American original. of photos. Online promo.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By picking the right stocks and businesses to invest in, plainspoken Nebraskan Warren Buffett became the richest man in the U.S. In this excellent biography, Wall Street Journal reporter Lowenstein details the billionaire stock market wizard's strategy of betting on the long-term growth of a handful of successful companies such as American Express and Berkshire Hathaway. Providing personal glimpses of a very private man, Lowenstein unearths childhood traumas such as the tormenting rages of Buffett's mother and his forced relocation to Washington, D.C., in 1943, where, at 13, he ran away from home he was found by the police the next day. Buffett's wife, Susan Thompson, a nightclub singer, walked out on him in 1977 and was quickly replaced by his mistress, Latvian-born Astrid Menks. Lowenstein profiles an emotionally guarded, ``strangely stunted'' Midas obsessed with work and secrecy, who seemingly derives little pleasure from his fabulous wealth. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. Aug.
Library Journal
Of all the so-called financial wizards, one stands above them all: Warren Buffet. Starting out in a middle-class Nebraska family, Buffet turned his prodigious talents for investing into a fortune of over $9 billion. Like many with a particular sort of genius, the man contains myriad complexities and contradictions: a traditional moral base that somehow includes both wife and mistress; a serene exterior that masks a fixed fear of death and a history of parental abuse; and a generosity that does not preclude requiring his children to repay all loans with interest. Lowenstein, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has made a thoroughly researched attempt at exploring how Buffet's mind works. He gives a largely sympathetic view of a man who says bankers should wear ski masks, a billionaire who has "no art collection or snazzy car...but lives in a commonplace house on a tree-lined block." A worthwhile addition to most public and academic libraries.Katherine Gillen, Luke Air Force Base Lib., Ariz.
Booknews
Traces the career of stockbroker Warren Buffett from its modest beginning in 1956 to the nearly uncountable fortune he holds today. Journalist Lowenstein draws on three years of access to his family, friends, and colleagues to draw a portrait of Buffett as honest, unpretentious, humorous. He finds parallels between his personality and his fundamental investment strategy of buying into a company that is undervalued then waiting for its worth to surface. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Barrons
The singular achievement of Lowenstein's excellent biography. . . is that it burnishes the Buffett myth while deconstructing it with heavy doses of reality.
Business Week
Lively, smoothly written, and elaborately researched, Buffett is likely to stand as the definitive biography.
From the Publisher
"Only in America. The bonus of this fine, fine biography is that it could turn you into an investor, if you're not one already; or a better one, if you are. Lowenstein has done a great job with a great subject."--Andrew Tobias

"Mr. Lowenstein has done a masterly job."--The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517194966
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/15/1997

Table of Contents


Introduction     xi
Omaha     3
Runaway     21
Graham     36
Beginnings     60
Partners     78
Go-Go     96
Berkshire Hathaway     121
Return of the Native     140
Alter Ego     162
Washington Redux     181
Press Lord     203
Partners, Redux     224
The Carpet Woman     246
The Eighties     257
Public and Private     275
Crash     292
A Brief Introduction to Darts     306
Secrets of the Temple     323
Howie Buffett's Corn     334
Rhinophobia     351
The King     368
Salomon's Court     386
Buffett's Trolley     411
Afterword: January 2008     427
Notes     433
Index     469
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2006

    Excellent biography!

    This book not only recalls the facinating life of one of america's most successful investors, it also changed the way I think about investing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2000

    One of my favorite biographies

    This is one of my favorite biographies. Entertaining and informative. Very well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2000

    The best book on Warren Buffett Ever!!

    This book is an excellent insight into the worlds single greatest investor. It tracks his life from day one, all every event since then. It is the most intriuging biography I have ever Read. Being a Nebraska Native, there are many stories people have about this great man, This book is the best source of some of the best stories of his life. It inspires people that are not investors to want to start, and those that are; to become better ones.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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