Being Dead is Bad for Business

Being Dead is Bad for Business

by Stanley Weiss


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Being Dead is Bad for Business by Stanley Weiss

“Rumbustious, warm and disarmingly candid … This is an astonishing life, recounted with humor and wit.”
—The Wall Street Journal

Most of us spend our lives talking ourselves out of things. But what could you accomplish if you never held yourself back?  

​What if, despite your fears, you went for broke every time?

You might live a life as extraordinary as the one Stanley Weiss has lived for nearly a century.  

A skinny Jewish kid from Philadelphia training to fight and likely die in the U.S. invasion of Japan in 1945, Stanley Weiss came home to the death of his loving but weak father, who left his mother penniless. Vowing on the spot not to let his insecurities limit him as they had his father, Weiss pledged that his mother would never have to worry. Later, a humiliation suffered at the hands of his wealthy girlfriend’s famous father ignited in him a determination to better himself in every way and live life to the fullest. 

Inspired by a Humphrey Bogart movie, Weiss moved to a foreign country to hunt for treasure—where Rule Number One was “Don’t Die.” Along the way, his zest for living has taken him from the company of legendary artists and poets in Mexico, to writers and beatniks in 1960s San Francisco and Hollywood; from drunken nights with a notorious spy to friendships with three of the men who played James Bond; from glamorous parties in Gstaad and Phuket to power politics in London and Washington, DC. A story of growth, tenacious focus, and good humor, it stretches from the days of “Don’t Die” to Weiss’s response when asked why business executives were interested in preventing nuclear war: “Being dead is bad for business.”

For those who believe the world is shaped by ordinary people who push themselves to do extraordinary things, Stanley Weiss’s story will inspire and surprise while reminding us all that being dead is bad for business—and being boring is bad for life.  

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633310124
Publisher: Disruption Books
Publication date: 02/28/2017
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 676,201
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Stanley A. Weiss was formerly Chairman of American Premier, Inc., a mining, refractories, chemicals, and mineral processing company. He is Founding Chairman of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a nonpartisan organization of senior executives who use the best practices of business to strengthen the nation’s security. Mr. Weiss has written widely on public policy matters. His work has appeared in The Huffington Post, the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Washington Times. His book, Manganese: The Other Uses, is the definitive work on the non-metallurgical uses of manganese. A former fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, Mr. Weiss is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Premier Chemicals and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Ditchley Foundation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Royal Institution in the UK. Mr. Weiss has served on the Board of Directors of Harman International Industries; the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; and the Advisory Boards of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy and the International Crisis Group. Mr. Weiss is married with two children. He divides his time between his residences in London and Gstaad, and his office in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Atomic Bomb Saved My Life ix

Introduction: A Sunny Town for Shady People 1

1 The Argument 11

2 Lessons from Queen Street 19

3 The Chance 29

4 Enlisted 35

5 Learning the Advantages of Partnership 49

6 First Love 55

7 Imagine Sisyphus Happy 65

8 The Spy Who Taught Me 73

9 Catching the Bug in Mexico 82

10 Getting Screwed, Getting Serious 85

11 Manganeso Mexicano 93

12 Montaña de Manganeso 100

13 Frank Senkowsky 108

14 The Angel of Independence 115

15 Falling in Love with the Poppers 123

16 The Mysteries of Marriage 133

17 Hans and My Grinding Mill 142

18 Hans and Gretl 150

19 New Partners, New Opportunities 159

20 Ah, San Francisco 172

21 At Odds 189

22 Destroyed 201

23 Ramparts 209

24 Chicago's Fierce Dogs 222

25 Everything Changes 229

26 The Pentagon Papers and Project Harvest Moon 234

27 Moving to London 238

28 Adrift 244

29 Wild and Crazy in New Hollywood 255

30 My Gstaad 265

31 Gaining Traction 277

32 Turning Fifty 285

33 The Citizens Party 290

34 Seeing What Wasn't There 309

35 Being Dead Is Bad for Business 315

36 Finding My Voice 323

37 Counselor 330

38 There's Something About Charley 338

39 Coming of Age 351

40 Crossing a Ravine on a Rope 361

41 Growing Our Footprint Across the World 372

42 Looking in the Mirror 389

43 Bleeding on the Keyboard 404

44 Finding Gold After All 419

Epilogue: Seventy Years to a Better Vocabulary 428

Acknowledgments 434

About the Author 436

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