The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyondby Peter G. Peterson
With insight and refreshing candor, Peter G. Peterson describes his remarkable life story beginning in Kearney, Nebraska as an eight-year-old manning the cash register at his father's Greek diner through his "Mad Men" advertising days, to Secretary of Commerce in Nixon's paranoid White House, to the tumultuous days of Lehman Brothers, and to the creation of The Blackstone Group, one of the great financial enterprises in recent times.
In THE EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER, Peterson chronicles the progress of this journey with irony, humor and, sometimes, painful honesty. Within these pages are stories of marriage and family hardship; lessons in political gamesmanship; thoughts on his obsessive desire to succeed; and, finally, learning the meaning of "enough." From his advertising days in Chicago in the 1950's to becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 300 Company, he shares with us his rise to the top and the price paid along the way. As the youngest Cabinet member in the Nixon administration, he describes his survival techniques in a hubris-driven and paranoid White House, including his turbulent turf wars with Treasury Secretary John Connally leading to Peterson's abrupt and highly publicized firing. His stewardship of Lehman Brothers is a Shakespearian tale of a CEO who struggled to deal with partners who were plotting his demise and, at the same time, turning an institution on the brink of bankruptcy to one with 5 straight years of record profits.
His life's story is about doing well by doing good. In the wake of Blackstone's highly successful public offering, Peterson found himself an 80-year old instant billionaire, on the verge of retirement. And like many lifetime workers and over-achievers, he suddenly confronts an unexpected, depressing identity crisis. His solution? Committing a great bulk of his net proceeds to establish the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, his philanthropic endeavor to do something about America's politically untouchable challenges that threaten America's future, among them massive entitlement obligations, ballooning health care costs, and our energy gluttony.
Ultimately, this is a man's account of his legendary successes, humiliating failures, and personal tragedies - a testament to a remarkable life and, indeed, to the American Dream itself.
- Grand Central Publishing
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- Hachette Digital, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Peter G. Peterson lives in New York City with his wife Joan Ganz Cooney, founder of the Children's Television Workshop, and has five children and nine grandchildren. His most recent book, Running On Empty, was a national bestseller. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and founding Chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He is also founding President of The Concord Coalition.
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A must read for those concerned with our children & grandchildren inheriting "our" debt!
Just finishing reading another great books titled - The Education of an AMERICAN DREAMER. The author is Peter G. Peterson. This book starts off with a story of how a Son of Greek Immigrants learned his way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and beyond. This book was referred to me from watching a show that Fareed Zakaria hosts on Sunday. Fareed Zakaria book titled The Future of Freedom is my next book which will surely be another great read. Having parents that came from Poland I could easily relate to the same treatment from my Father while growing up, He never in all my years ever said he loved me or hugged me, so I felt the same strange feelin all my years of "was I adopted"! Please include Mr. Peterson's book on your list of must read books, his book tells stories that you will love to learn about and them refer this book to your friends as a must read book
THE EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER Peter G. Peterson Twelve Hackette Book Group ISBN: 978-0-446-55603-3 $34.99 Reviewer: Annie Slessman As I read THE EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER, How A Son Of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way From A Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street and Beyond by Peter G. Peterson I heard the words of my own mother, "You and your willingness to work for it will determine what kind of life you have." It is apparent that Peter G. Peterson agrees with my mother. Living in a small Nebraska town and working in his father's restaurant, Peterson learned early in life of the opportunities that living in America offered. Of Greek descent, his family worked hard and was very happy with the live they carved out for themselves in the U.S. Peterson's father financed his college education starting at MIT and eventually at Northwestern. No stranger to work, Peterson financed his social life at Northwestern by working as a waiter. Upon graduating from Northwestern he entered the advertising field and eventually worked his way into the financial sector. The name Peter G. Peterson brings to one's mind the word success. From advertising to finance to politics, Peterson has proved to one and all that he has the ability and foresight to lead a generation of thinkers. His ability to say no to things that would tempt even the strongest of us, he has made choices in his life based on his own ideals and the ability to look forward. He is definitely not a man who lives for today only. He has always been a forward thinker, even today, as he wrote this work, he worries about what leaving a mess for our children and grandchildren. He even contributed one billion to finance his own Peter G. Peterson Foundation to hopefully educate our young in how to deal with the problems they are inheriting. This was a good read. It provided a good analyst of today's problem areas while telling the story of a young Nebraskan man who made his life one that everyone will find interesting and motivating. In today's economy, $34.99 is a hefty price to pay for elective reading. However, I will go as far as to say, "It may be one of the best investments you make this year."