Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist Paperback – Aug 18 1996
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Starting from scratch, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Warren Buffett amassed one of the epochal fortunes of the 20th century -- an astounding net worth of $10 billion and counting. That awesome record has made him a cult figure.
This illuminating biography reveals a man whose conscientiousness, integrity, and good humor exist alongside an odd emotional isolation. Buffett also masterfully traces his life: his enormously successful partnership; his early, inspired investments in American Express and Geico; his companionship and investment with Katharine Graham of the Washington Post; his role in the Capital Cities purchase of ABC; his unique relationship with his wife and mistress; and his rescue of the scandal-ridden Salomon Brothers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
By picking the right stocks and businesses to invest in, plainspoken Nebraskan Warren Buffett became the richest man in the U.S. In this excellent biography, Wall Street Journal reporter Lowenstein details the billionaire stock market wizard's strategy of betting on the long-term growth of a handful of successful companies such as American Express and Berkshire Hathaway. Providing personal glimpses of a very private man, Lowenstein unearths childhood traumas such as the tormenting rages of Buffett's mother and his forced relocation to Washington, D.C., in 1943, where, at 13, he ran away from home (he was found by the police the next day). Buffett's wife, Susan Thompson, a nightclub singer, walked out on him in 1977 and was quickly replaced by his mistress, Latvian-born Astrid Menks. Lowenstein profiles an emotionally guarded, "strangely stunted" Midas obsessed with work and secrecy, who seemingly derives little pleasure from his fabulous wealth. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I recently re-read this Buffett biography (first published in 1995 and now re-issued with a new Afterword, dated January 2008) and then read Alice Schroeder's The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Both are first-rate. Which to select if reading only one? That depends on how much you wish to know about Buffett's personal life, including his relations with various family members, and how curious you are about his personal hang-ups, peculiarities, eccentricities, fetishes, etc. If you can do without any of that, Roger Lowenstein's biography is the one to read. I also highly recommend the recently published Second Edition of The Essays of Warren Buffet: Lessons for Corporate America, with content selected, arranged, and introduced by Lawrence Cunningham.
In fact, I'd now like to provide a brief excerpt from Cunningham's Introduction: "The central theme uniting Buffett's lucid essays is that the principles of fundamental business analysis, first formulated by his teachers Ben Graham and David Dodd, should guide investment practice. Linked to that theme are management principles that define the proper role of corporate managers as the stewards of invested capital, and the proper role of shareholders as the suppliers and owners of capital. Radiating from these main themes are practical and sensible lessons on the entire range of business issues, from accounting to mergers to evaluation." Lowenstein does a skill job of examining the context in which various lessons were learned, both by Buffett and by those with whom he was associated.Read more ›
In this book, Roger Lowenstein reveals the life of Warren Buffet from his childhood to around 1995. Warren Buffett is a very private man and there aren’t many books that reveal his personal life. To get a glimpse of his personal life, Roger Lowenstein spent a great deal of time interviewing Buffett’s friends and family. This is the book to get if anyone wants to understand Warren Buffett’s life and career. I especially like how Roger Lowenstein went through a number of Warren Buffett’s investments (Washington Post, Buffalo News, GEICO) and his involvement with the executives. It helps readers to become better investor and understand more about business. Overall, it is a great read, entertaining for a finance book.
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It's especially puzzling that despite being a nerd, Buffett easily charms many of his class mates and others with whom he interacts. These skills were wildly successful as he went out seeking capital to launch his partnership.
I have read this book a few times, and recently took to underlining the most interesting anecdotes passages and Buffettisms. After recently finishing the book, I realized that I had practically highlighted each sentence. There are many gems within to be comptemplated
If you REALLY want to understand Buffett, ignore the "Invest Like Buffett" books out there (and there are a bunch). It is a lot more worthwhile to learn about the man, and especially his principles. This book in conjunction with his annual letters to his partners / shareholders is the best method by which a student can truly learn from the Oracle of Omaha.
Mr. Lowenstein is one of those admirers. Despite the rather clear evidence that Mr. Buffett's personal life is a shambles, Mr. Lowenstein describes it in the most glowing terms. Hey! If you're rich, you must be happy!
As far as Mr. Buffett's investment philosophy is concerned, Mr. Lowenstein provides much useful background information and makes the point that it has evolved over time. In other words, like any other professional, he thinks about what he is doing.
Personally, I found "The Midas Touch" by John Train and Buffett's own letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (which are available in book form) more interesting and useful. They're also much more concise.
Most recent customer reviews
I really like Lowenstein's writing style and his attention to factual information. I'm planning to read more of his work, new and old.Published 17 months ago by Rod Tyler
This book is probably literally worth it's weight in gold. As an insider's perspective on Buffet's journey, it is filled with rich background, captivating stories, and nowdays... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Paul Frew
I love this book more than the Snowball. The writer is very intelligent. He discussed more of Buffet's investments than his personal life.Published 19 months ago by Nathalie Nguyen
Wasn't sure what to expect but I wanted to learn more about Buffett, and I found this book fascinating! Read morePublished 23 months ago by Daryl Manderville
I really appreciate the read of this book. You learn the life of someone who has succeed in life more than anyone. It's really entertaining and the book has a lot of pages. Read morePublished on April 24 2013 by Patrick
Cette biographie est très inspirante. Par contre, certains passages de la vie de M. Buffet sont longs. Read morePublished on Jan. 20 2010 by J. Doyon
I've read a lot of books about Warren Buffett and this is by far my favorite. If you have to read only one, read this one.Published on June 15 2004 by Bookwormy
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