Through perseverance, solid ingenuity, and unwavering determination, family-run companies - dynasties - have dominated wealth and business throughout the last two centuries. One third of Fortune 500 firms are family owned and, in most cases, the ideal of the family business is one synonymous with continuity, watchful leadership, and dedication to success. But what happens when bad behavior, extravagance, and laziness, all very real enemies of industry, are allowed to proliferate? In Dynasties, best-selling author and historian David S. Landes scrutinizes the powerful family businesses that rule both the financial and industrial sectors across Europe, Japan, and America to determine what factors can cause a dynasty to flourish or fail. Focusing on three areas - banking, automobiles, and raw materials - his cast of characters speaks to the power of the family enterprise. The Fords, Rothschilds, Morgans, Guggenheims, Rockefellers, and Toyodas (who founded Toyota) are but a few families whose histories contain all the drama and passion to be expected when vast wealth, power, and kinship intersect. Drawing on his immense knowledge of economic history, Landes offers a new reading of the dynastic business plan of the 19th and 20th centuries, with surprising recommendations for the 21st.More
"Landes tells us, 'These tales trace the tangled histories of legendary lineages....We can learn a great deal about business from these dynasties; moreover, these are extraordinary men and women, full of eccentricities and genius, and they provide a wealth of entertaining tales.' Indeed. This is an excellent book." (Booklist)
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I couldn't take it anymore
I am very interested in business biographies, and I am a huge fan of the TV series "The Men Who Built America." (If you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend that you treat yourself to the 4-part series. It is extremely interesting, and very well-done)
So I purchased this book with high hopes and great anticipation. I couldn't wait to dive in and start listening. After enduring a very slow and rambling first chapter, I was a bit turned off but wanted to give it a fair shake.
So I started listening to chapter 2 with renewed hope. My hopes were quickly dashed and the book got even WORSE than it was in chapter 1. This was quite a feat because I was certain the book had no place to go but up.
The author rambles all over the place and simply states some facts and his long-winded opinion. The book reads like a college thesis and has very little character or personality. What makes matters even worse is the book is strewn with the author's opinions that come out of left field.
Halfway through chapter 2 I finally resorted to listening to the first 15 minutes of a chapter and if it didn't hook me then I moved onto the next chapter. I figured at least ONE of the chapters had to be well-written. I was sadly mistaken and this was one of the most disappointing books I've ever read or listened to.
My advice is to stay FAR away from this book...it is a complete nightmare.
Become a true author instead of just dryly regurgitating facts. Weave a story into the facts and make it interesting to read.
He did a decent job with what he had to work with. I can't really give an impartial opinion thought because I was so turned off by the book.
Surprisingly...none. And I'm usually very generous with reviews. This is new territory for me.
- Thomas W Parsley