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Andrew Grove has earned fame and fortune as chairman and cofounder of Intel. But, we learn from this remarkable memoir, he began life under very different circumstances, narrowly escaping the Holocaust and the closing of the Iron Curtain.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1936, Grove--then called Andras Grof--grew up in a modestly prosperous, secular Jewish family. Through foresight and sheer good fortune, they avoided the fate of many of their fellow Jews, fleeing the Nazis into the countryside and living in a dark cellar in which "the sound of artillery was a continuous backdrop." Under the Communist regime that followed, Grove distinguished himself as a student of chemistry and was seemingly destined for a comfortable position in academia or industry--until revolution broke out in 1956 and he found himself in that cellar once again.
How Grove emerged, "swam across" to America, and made a new life under a new name makes a satisfying conclusion to this humane memoir, which gives readers valuable insight into the business guru and technologist. --Gregory McNamee
"Jesus Christ was killed by the Jews, and because of that, all of the Jews will be thrown into the Danube," says a playmate to four-year-old Andris Grof Grove's original name. Born to a middle-class Jewish family in 1936, Grove, chairman of Intel, grew up in Budapest during his country's most tempestuous era. Despite avoiding deportation and death, Grove's family lived in fear during Nazi occupation and lost some rights and property. Afterwards, they lived under Soviet control. Curiously, Grove's memoir charts the routinized mundanities of his teen years seeing his teacher at the opera, being afraid to meet young women at the local public pool, the success of a short story he wrote more than life in war-torn Europe. But his discussion of contemporary politics is astute and personal "I had mixed feelings about the Communists... they had saved my mother's life and my own.... On the other hand... they increasingly interfered with our daily life." Never didactic, he remains focused on his own intellectual growth. Grove continued his education in New York after the 1956 revolution failed. The intelligence, dedication and ingenuity that earned him fame and fortune (he was Time's Man of the Year in 1997) are evident early on. He deftly balances humor e.g., subversive anti-Communist jokes from Hungary with insight into overcoming endless obstacles (from hostile foreign invasions to New York's City University system). Though lacking in drama, Grove's story stands smartly amid inspirational literature by self-made Americans. B&w photos. (Nov. 12)Forecast: Warner's fanfare pre-pub bookseller luncheons, Jewish Book Fair appearances, publication events in New York and San Francisco and concerted media campaigns will bring this book to readers' attention despite it not being the sort of business-oriented book most would expect from Grove. Its unexpected subject matter will mean that, despite the Grove name, it won't come near to matching Welch-size sales, but still, it should thrive.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.See all Product Description
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Grove some time back. He's an intelligent man, with a powerful persona and strong sense of character. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2004 by Roger Davies
I gave the book four stars because I thought that is what it deserves as a piece of literature. But of course his "story" is five stars. That goes without saying. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004 by J. E. Robinson
I loved this clear, accessible memoir about a boy (and later young man) who grows up in Hungary during the WWII and Revolution years, escapes to the West and comes to the United... Read morePublished on June 15 2003
The majority of Andrew Grove's story takes place in Hungary as a young boy, but eventually graduates to a young adult and then as an immigrant to the U.S.A. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by Brady L. Buchanan
The Book is easy to read and understand and gives you the sense that, today, you learned a fine lesson in growing up in self fullfillment and what it takes. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2002 by Nicholas J. Csorba
SWIMMING ACROSS is a personal & cultural memoir tracing Andrew Grove's most formative years. Beginning on the eve of Nazi Germany's invasion of his native Hungary & ending with his... Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2002
To those of you that might read this book, I do recommend it. I was interested in this book because it took place during a lifetime I did not live and a place I will more than... Read morePublished on June 21 2002 by Cameron Maxwell