The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life Paperback – Oct 27 2009
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“The mandatory book to read in these treacherous times of financial crisis.…A thoughtful and intimate biography of the globe’s wisest investor.” –Forbes
“Will mesmerize anyone interested in who Mr. Buffett is or how he got that way.” The Snowball tells a fascinating story.”–New York Times
“If the replication of any great achievement first requires knowledge of how it was done, then The Snowball, the most detailed glimpse inside Warren Buffett and his world that we likely will ever get, should become a Bible for capitalists.” —Washington Post
“Anyone who has been watching events unfold in recent months–which would be everyone–can now appreciate the wisdom of Buffett....The most authoritative portrait of one of the most important American investors of our time.”–Los Angeles Times
“Even people who don't care a whit about business will be intrigued by this portrait… Schroeder, a former insurance-industry analyst, spent years interviewing Buffett, and the result is a side of the Oracle of Omaha that has rarely been seen.” —Time Magazine
"Schroeder... has a meat-and-potatoes style that matches the homespun wisdom of her subject...Now more than ever, Buffett's emphasis on fundamentals seems like genius. It's the perfect moment for a great book on an immensely inspiring capitalist."—People, four stars
“Schroeder…is well equipped to elucidate Buffett’s deals…[and] Buffett’s life abounds with good stories.”—New Yorker
“You will learn a lot about one of the nation's most compelling and important men from reading The Snowball.” —Boston Globe
“In The Snowball, novice biographer Alice Schroeder gives us one of the most detailed, candid life stories ever published…It is almost impossible to stop reading.” —Christian Science Monitor
“A penetrating and personal look at the Oracle of Omaha…An astute, and at times riveting, read–especially now.”—BusinessWeek
“Everyone knows that in a deep and liquid capital market like that of the US, it is just about impossible to beat the stock market averages over anything more than the short term. But Buffett has been ahead of the curve for most of the past 50 years, making him one of the world’s richest people. Alice Schroeder’s massive authorized biography, The Snowball, provides some clues about how he’s done it.” —Financial Times
“In this startlingly frank account of Buffett’s life, Schroeder, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley–and hand picked by Buffett to be his biographer–strips away the mystery that has long cloaked the word’s richest man to reveal a life and fortune erected around lucid and inspired business vision and unimaginable personal complexity.” —Publishers Weekly
“This massive–and highly readable–text (produced with Buffett’s full cooperation) is an unvarnished and well-paced biography that is essential for all public and academic business collections.” —Library Journal
“For students of the Oracle of Omaha, or even those looking for a little reassurance during the crisis, Schroeder's book is a fascinating study of America's most successful investor.” —New York Post
“… Alice Schroeder’s accumulation of detail, her vivid, artless descriptions of people and places, and the resulting narrative fluidity make this a compelling book. It has the bouncing vitality of an early Sinclair Lewis novel…”—Times Literary Supplement
“If you've looked at your 401(k) statement and started to fear that everyone in financial markets is either greedy, predatory or incompetent, do yourself a favor. Take $35 out of the mattress and buy a copy of Alice Schroeder's The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. At a time like this, it's a real comfort: Buffet is living proof there's at least one wholly rational person managing money…an excellent and highly enjoyable look at the business titan.” —Houston Chronicle
“Ms. Schroeder does a good job of pulling…volunteered disclosures out of Mr. Buffett but her real contribution is her own investment expertise which enables her to make the convoluted financing schemes over the last 50 years understandable to lay readers and truly instructive to the business information junkie.” —Washington Times
“This is a fast-paced, precisely drawn profile of a man who, despite his high visibility in the financial world, isn’t someone we’ve known much about… We do now.” —Kansas City Star
“This massive—and highly readable—text (produced with Buffett’s full cooperation) is an unvarnished and well-paced biography that is essential for all public and academic business collections.”—LibraryJournal.com
"Top-notch biographies demand thorough research and crisp, finely honed writing. Schroeder exhibits both.... It's hard to imagine a more complete account of Buffett's life had he written it himself."—Buffalo News
“Riveting and encyclopedic.... The overall power of the story carries “The Snowball” forward. There is much to be learned from it.”—wsj.com
“[A] monumental biography ... Schroeder got the best access yet of any Buffett biographer ... she deals out marvelously funny and poignant stories about Buffett and the conglomerate he runs, Berkshire Hathaway.”—Forbes.com
About the Author
Author Alice Schroeder was a noted insurance industry analyst and writer who was a managing director at Morgan Stanley. She first met Warren Buffett when she published research on Berkshire Hathaway; her grasp of the subject and insight so impressed him that he offered her access to his files and to himself. Their friendship and mutual respect make her ideally positioned to write the The Snowball.
Ms. Schroeder was born in Texas, and she earned an undergraduate degree and her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin before moving east to work in finance. She is a former CPA and lives in Connecticut with her husband.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The heft of Schroeder's biography may discourage some people from obtaining a copy. To them I presume to suggest that they not be deterred by that factor. Schroeder has a lively, often entertaining writing style that drives the narrative through just about every period and (yes) interlude of Warren Buffett's life and career thus far. There is much more information provided than most readers either need or desire. However, she had unprecedented access not only to Buffett but to just about everyone else with whom he is (or once was) associated as well as to previously inaccessible research resources. It is possible but highly unlikely that anyone else will write a more comprehensive biography than Schroeder has, at least for the next several years, if not decades. Also, her opinion of Buffett seems to me to be balanced and circumspect. No doubt he wishes that certain details about his life and career were not included.Read more ›
In my opinion, it is certainly clear that with a minimum of wisdom, prudence and patience we can all prosper through these challenging times by following Buffet's business practices and integrity. Business is not all that complicated when you choose colleagues and associates based on the right combination of character and skills.
Enjoy the book. It is long as this is a long and rich life. It is well written so take the time to enjoy all the stories and anecdotes. It is a perfect read to start your day. Much better than the current news...
a. Buffett, as one of the world's wealthiest men, rarely takes questionable risks with his money, except during this latest economic downturn, which is not covered in the book;
b. Buffett is renowned for buying companies that are near dead, reviving them, and then selling them. Shroeder includes a couple of incidents in Buffett's life where he paid the price for deviating from this practice;
c. Buffett started out as a notorious cheapskate and bottom-feeder in investment circles, and only over time and under the influence of certain women and men in his life has he developed a measure of grace, generosity, and respect;
d. Buffett, for all his billions made, is not without his regrets as to how he could have invested more wisely;
e.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Terrific read - as great as the best fiction and a good learning experience as well. Probably one of the best biographies I've read.Published 5 months ago by CS
Well written book but some sections were very dry for someone who is not a business personPublished 15 months ago by AB
This is easily one of the worst biographies I've ever read. The author meanders around random facts for pages about minor characters in the life of buffet. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Norestar
The book is probably too long if you are looking for investment advices. This is a long biography that has lots of details about Buffett's life. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Eti
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