In contrast to the American classic The Education of Henry Adams, in which the author lamented that his traditional education had not prepared him for the modern world's rapid progress in science and technology, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Perkins's early studies in science (MIT) and business (Harvard) were perfectly adapted to building high technology companies in California. But historians and aspiring venture capitalists will be disappointed that his memoir says little about the companies he helped found and manage, focusing instead on gossipy accounts of boardroom squabbles. Instead of discussing making money, he concentrates on anecdotes about spending it on playboy activities like buying, building and racing expensive cars and yachts. The writing is clear but wooden. While the stories would be unremarkable if told about ordinary people, they will interest some readers due to the millions of dollars and celebrities involved. There are clunker jokes about women and homosexuals and the references to women are generally uncharitable (except for wives and mistresses of male friends, who are "slim and attractive"). Perkins's book is a pale imitation of Henry Adams's original. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
[Perkins] sews dry humor through tales of yachting triumphs, road rallies in expensive cars, tech start-ups and the boardroom coup he instigated at Hewlett Packard. Looking back without rancor or remorse, [he] has a knack for storytelling that makes him feel like a buddy who never fails to laugh at himself.