Peter Krass is an accomplished and prolific author, editor, and researcher. He has written and edited ten books, including Portrait of War, Blood & Whiskey: The Life and Times of Jack Daniel and Carnegie, all published by Wiley. Krass lives in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Ignorance, Confidence, and Filthy Rich Friends: The Business Adventures of Mark Twain, Chronic Speculator and Entrepreneurby Peter Krass
While the entire world knows Mark Twain as the renowned author of many classic American novels, few people are aware that he was also a highly successful businessman. In fact, more than half of his life was consumed by moneymaking pursuits, which often resulted in writing projects being neglectedbut at the same time, these adventures were the inspiration
While the entire world knows Mark Twain as the renowned author of many classic American novels, few people are aware that he was also a highly successful businessman. In fact, more than half of his life was consumed by moneymaking pursuits, which often resulted in writing projects being neglectedbut at the same time, these adventures were the inspiration behind many of the characters found in his books.
In Ignorance, Confidence, and Filthy Rich Friends, Peter Krass captures a little-known side of this American icon and details the roller coaster ride of his business ventures in a dramatic, entertaining, and informative narrative style. From Twain's time as the founder of his own publishing housewhere he made a small fortune publishing General Ulysses S. Grant's memoirsto his foray into venture capitalism and investment in numerous start-up firms, to his focus on his own inventions, this engaging book reveals the Mark Twain that few of us know: the no-nonsense, successful American businessman.
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Ignorance, Confidence and Filthy Rich Friends is an account of the business adventures of Mark Twain written by the accomplished, prolific author, editor and researcher, Peter Krass. The book portrays Mark Twain as a ruthless entrepreneur, a quality that is not widely known of the popular american writer. Mark Twain’s development and growth into an entrepreneur is summoned in Peter Krass’ careful examination of Twain’s actions and behavioral psychology, it includes engaging stories of Mark Twain’s life, which as a literary fan, become quite intriguing, winning over your hunger for the next page. Peter Krass reveals the entrepreneurial side of Mark Twain in a humoristic and informative manner; his efforts to include the same humorist tone that Twain adopts in his writing are clearly noted throughout the book. The latter results in a light and inviting read. Krass’ words are carefully put together with the evident intention of gifting advice, and giving the reader the opportunity to learn from Mark Twain’s experiences in the exciting setting of the second half of the 19th century, when the United States was overcome by ongoing changes and innovation. Krass accompanies the account of Twain’s life with short chapters entitled, “Quirky Habits & Brazen Philosophy,” in which he succinctly explores the personal habits that allowed for Twain’s evolution into entrepreneurship. Although Mark Twain’s life story is entertaining enough to sustain the quality of the novel itself, the novel becomes dull at times when Krass’ efforts to portray him as an entrepreneur become too lengthy and irrelevant. As a student of Entrepreneurial Thinking, I deeply appreciated the connections made between the renown writer, an artistically driven person, to entrepreneurship. In terms of giving the readers a look into an entrepreneur's journey, Krass was very successful. Throughout my course of study I have learned that the best way to understand entrepreneurship is to humanize it through the accounted experiences of others, where we are given a chance to see that whoever the entrepreneur might be, he or she is still human and the revelation that their humanity is their biggest asset. Throughout the book I was able to recognize many concepts from the discipline of entrepreneurship that have helped me in my entrepreneurial journey, and that I believe will be of great assistance to all readers, whether they enjoy the read or not. Mark Twain’s life is a wonderful series of experiences from which one can learn from and hopefully find inspiration from. The book is full of extracts from Twain's letters and notes that give a genuine depiction of his beliefs, and thinking process. Krass’ desperation to write with the intention to give advice and help is astonishing. Although his efforts are not always successful in maintaining the reader engaged, it still provokes deep reflection and introspective analysis, especially when the reader has the intention to become an entrepreneur.
Who knew Twain pursued wealth with the zest of a robber baron. This book is highly entertaining and instructive as there is much business insight and Twain's adventures are notable. While not a full biography, I enjoyed the excerpts from Twain's writing - you get a good sense of him. The pace of the book is good. Business people and those interested in Twain will enjoy it.