Casey's Law: If Something Can Go Right, It Should

Overview

Murphy's Law tells us that if something can go wrong, it will. Nonsense! says Al Casey, who maintains: If things can go right, they should. But you've got to make them go right, he adds, by hard work, focusing on key problems, and believing in the people around you. One of the most successful - and original - American businessmen of our time, Al Casey is a no-nonsense turnaround specialist who loves nothing more than the big challenges, whether in the private or the public sector. As president of the Times Mirror...
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1998 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 320 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Murphy's Law tells us that if something can go wrong, it will. Nonsense! says Al Casey, who maintains: If things can go right, they should. But you've got to make them go right, he adds, by hard work, focusing on key problems, and believing in the people around you. One of the most successful - and original - American businessmen of our time, Al Casey is a no-nonsense turnaround specialist who loves nothing more than the big challenges, whether in the private or the public sector. As president of the Times Mirror Corporation, he was instrumental in taking that West Coast company, whose main "product" was the Los Angeles Times, and turning it into a multifaceted media giant, with interests in magazines, newspapers, book publishing, forest products, radio, and television. As chairman of American Airlines for eleven years, he took that ailing giant - heavily in debt and losing money when he became CEO early in 1974 - and made it into the highly profitable, preeminent company it still is today. As postmaster general he attacked the problems of the country's largest government agency - with almost a million employees - and left it leaner, more motivated, for the first time truly competitive, and - to the great surprise of Washington insiders - both efficient and profitable. When the savings and loan debacle unfolded in the late 1980s, with hundreds of thrifts having failed and hundreds more under siege, Al Casey was named chairman of the Resolution Trust Corporation, with the impossible job of bailing out a situation that was threatening the entire banking system of the United States. In this book Al Casey tells his fascinating latter-day Horatio Alger story, from boyhood days in Arlington, Massachusetts, where he grew up during the Great Depression, through his fifty-year business career, to his current role as Distinguished Professor at SMU's Cox School of Business, where he is helping form a new generation of business leaders and managers. In these pages he relat
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Born in Boston in 1920 into a family of Irish immigrant stock, business titan Casey watched his father lose his company in the Depression. But the son went on to become president of Times Mirror, CEO/chair of American Airlines, U.S. postmaster general and head of the Resolution Trust Corporation's savings-and-loan bailout, among other endeavors. His eponymous "law"-if something can go right, it should-sounds flat compared to the famous precept it challenges, Murphy's law: if anything can go wrong, it will. Yet his autobiography, written with Seaver, his book publisher, is full of wit and Irish charm and illustrates what can go wrong in business deals-and how to make things go right. Sprinkled with cameos of President Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Armand Hammer, Norman Mailer, Jack Nicklaus, Henry Luce, Bill Paley and many others, this spirited self-portrait is the inspirational testament of a mover and shaker who projects tough-minded integrity. Photos not seen by PW. 75,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Casey is a former CEO of Times Mirror, American Airlines, and the Resolution Trust Corporation who currently teaches at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Here he recounts his life as it has affected his widely diverse business career while offering advice for business leaders and managers. The major piece of advice is Casey's Law (as opposed to Murphy's Law): "If something can go right, it should." He also espouses a strong sense of personal and business ethics for anyone in the work force. Several biographies by business executives have appeared recently (e.g., James A. Autry's Confessions of an Accidental Businessman, LJ 10/1/96), and though Casey's work is not as revelatory as some, it is entertaining and should be included in most business collections.Kathy Shimpock-Vieweg, Muchmore & Wallwork Lib., Phoenix
Kirkus Reviews
An agreeably upbeat and anecdotal memoir from the corporate executive who kept American Airlines flying during a period of notable turbulence.

A Boston Irishman and proud of it, Casey (who turns 77 this year) worked his way through Harvard, returning after WW II service as a US Army officer to earn an MBA. Beginning his apprenticeship in Southern Pacific's Wall Street office, the author eventually moved on to what was then the Railway Express Agency; in the demanding post of chief financial officer, Casey gained first-hand knowledge of crisis management as the cash-strapped freight forwarder struggled to survive. Resigning over a matter of moral principle, the author joined Los Angelesbased Times-Mirror, the Chandler family publishing firm he helped make a multinational media colossus. Blocked from the top job (for lack of blood ties to the Chandler clan), the competitive Casey accepted an offer to become CEO of troubled American Airlines in 1974. Piloting the global carrier through an eventful era marked by deregulation, an oil embargo, and allied challenges (including the controversial move of corporate headquarters from New York City to Dallas/Ft. Worth), he bequeathed a prospering enterprise to an impressive successor (Robert Crandall). If anything, the author's retirement has been more active than his business career. Following a stint as postmaster general during the Reagan administration, he was recruited to head the Resolution Trust Corp. (the federal agency that liquidated busted thrift institutions). While not one to advance himself as a role model for aspiring captains of industry, Casey offers a wealth of low-key guidance on tricks of the managerial trade. As a recurrent theme, moreover, he details how, in both the private and public sectors, he has made it a point of honor to reverse the thrust of Murphy's Law.

A good-humored account of an uncommonly productive life, which belies the notion that nice guys finish last.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559704281
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 1.02 (d)

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