Customer Reviews: American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States
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on June 11, 2012
I did enjoy reading this book but at some point started realizing how it wasn't really teaching me anything but rather giving me a chronological approach towards American entrepreneurs/pioneers and their achievements. I understand that this was the purpose of the book but I was probably the only one who was expecting to take a lesson away from it besides the obvious ones like "stay true to yourself", "always remember to pursue your goals", "fight for what you believe in" etc etc.

I felt it lacked a certain soul that would be necessary for me to feel inspired by it and imbibe enough experiences to utilize it in my style and ethic of working.

Obviously, this is a VERY PERSONAL REVIEW on my part and you may disregard it if you are not expecting what I did when I was buying this book.

It is a VERY GOOD history lesson. And it is VERY WELL WRITTEN.
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on February 18, 2011
This book is a strong example of how in today's world we longer see economic problems through the scope of "Austrian Economics." While the stories in this book may be very one-sided at times (aka Lincoln supposedly having built the transcontinental railroad to increase his real-estate assets) it is definitely a must read for students interested in economic policy and how government decisions are made from monetary incentives. This book discusses reasons for why the central bank was made, political entrepreneurs (greedy politicians) v market entrepreneurs (innovators), and how projects that benefit politicians are often disguised as "public interest spending."
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on April 19, 2010
My college began using Larry's prior book, "Entrepreneurial Adventure" as the freshman introductory text to business a few years ago. Our students liked it
(faculty didn't because it lacked the teaching aides that come packaged with most texts, which interestingly did not bother the adjuncts). EA has gone out of print. "American Entrepreneur" was reported to be the next edition, with increased coverage of the late 20th century and up to date through the housing & banking crises of '08-'09.

With the new publisher comes a revised format. Gone are the sidebar stories of unique individuals in US business history, along with all of the illustrations and graphics. The people stories are now woven throughout the main text, so they are not lost. Several students have read both EA and AE and they report that the older book was an easier read. I find little difference, and AE is definitely a higher quality book.

I highly recommend "American Entrepreneur" for anyone who has come through an American public school system. It relates the story of business and government in America in a unique and useful way. It is unabashedly capitalist in outlook and tenor, making a wonderful counterpoint to the teachings of most public institutions. Is it biased? Of course it is, just differently than other biased viewpoints. Before any American is allowed to vote, they should read AE's side of our history.

I hope that in 2015 or so there is a 3rd issue of the story, looking at the culmination of the current economic recovery. It can review the new interactions of business, government and entrepreneurs and hopefully show that capitalism remains alive and well in the American spirit, perhaps convincing future American leaders to cultivate that spirit, not constrain it.
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on November 1, 2012
One of the aspects of starting a business is that you learn from those that are successful, specifically their successful habits. In order to do that, you need to find those successful individuals. So I began reading about wealthy individuals: Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, PT Barnum, Franklin, Carnegie, Jobs, and others. But one biography fact about Vanderbilt stuck out: The Supreme Court decision in 1824 of Gibbons v. Ogden, of which the biographer stated, "In the aftermath of Gibbons v. Odgen, however, no one doubted the world had become a better place.... In practical terms, it threw the high court's weight behind the gather momentum of competitive individualism--of laissez-faire--in American law and culture." (The First Tycoon, The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt). This one fact burst open the economic gate within American, and it started me to thinking, "What was the hold up before that decision?" If the decision was in 1824, what was before that? I began researching about our Founding Fathers and even as far back as the Pilgrims to see the source of our country's economic backwardness and what changes helped create our world economy.

As I began doing the research finding multiple books to read I was hoping to find one that would give me an overview of our American historical past as I wanted to include some of it in my own book, a sort of short history. In the process of doing research for my own book, "How to Start a Business: Mac Version" regarding the history of entrepreneurship I came across this book, "American Entrepreneur."

By far this is the best book that I have found that addresses the significant issues surrounding America and it's moral and economic foundations that has made it what it is today. If you want to know about America's moral and economic might, this is the first book I'd get.

Well worth the money spent and the time to read it.
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on May 30, 2010
We chose this book because it was inspiring and provided a historical account of how the United States became the launching pad for many of the world's greatest companies. Anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur should read this book because it reminds everyone that you can come from any background and start an enterprise at any age. Government officials at all levels that are considering laws that would restrain free enterprise would benefit from reading this book because it will remind them why we need to fight to perserve and nuture the world's greatest innovation and job creator. It's a story that I am sure leaders in other countries have read and try to emulate. Lastly, I also teach a class in entrepreneurship at Drexel University and I have mad this book required reading.
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on January 5, 2016
Had to read this book for a business class. Thought it was pretty boring to follow. Plus in my opinion, of all the cosmetic entrepreneurs to pick from, they choose Mary Kay? Hello, have they not heard of Estee Lauder? Maybe it's a ridiculous thing to point out but Estee's company far outweighs that of Mary Kay. With over 2 dozen brands and sales over 10 billion each year, worldwide, seems like a better entrepreneur to me. Who else can drop a bottle of perfume at a department store and get her name through the door?
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on September 4, 2013
I purchased American Entrepreneur for a university class and have only read 3 chapters. It's easy to read along with and easy to grasp, but it is also comprehensive and provides many names. I personally like the ebook because I can double click any word or name I don't know and get a quick definition.
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on January 2, 2013
As all my reviews go, I do the 2 things I disliked the most and the 2 things I liked the best about. Overall, I say the book was a good but long read that covered the history of the individual successful business people that make America great and ended on a low note by turning political. This is for people who want a chronological lesson in history using prominent business people as bookmarks. Here you go;

2 least likable things;
- The format was similar to a college professor lecturing so it was kind of a slow moving book to get thru. It seemed to be needlessly long

- The end turned political and really gave the book a sour taste in my mouth. The authors turned political, giving their own spin at the end, including reshaping of financial events into political debate of Republicans vs Democrats. Ending with "what-ifs" about what may have happened if this political party had done this or that. There is a place for that but I do not like it under the mask of history.

2 good things;

- It is very long and therefor very thorough. It would make great writing or reading for a history paper!

- I enjoyed the overall feeling of the book describing the America system and how individuals have shaped the current environment we have today.
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on February 22, 2010
Given that it was written by two college professors, I get the feeling that it was written primarily as a textbook for their students (and an extra way for them to make money off of their positions). I love profiles and hoped that it provide wise, well-researched insights on a variety of great American entrepreneurs. Instead, it just provides a historical explanation of the business environment that allowed entrepreneurship to flourish. It doesn't really tell me anything new that I didn't already know; it just says it a lot more words and points to other people, aka academics, who have also said the same thing. For example, the US Constitution allowed business enterprises to flourish since it prohibited states from exacting commercial barriers to protect their own constituents.

Bottom line: I feel like I'm reading a lengthy grad school thesis rather than an enjoyable, informative book about actual entrepreneurs. If it weren't on clearance at the borders, I would take it back for a refund.
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on January 12, 2013
The book was written in a manner that a 3rd grader could understand. I do not like the format of the book, and recommend looking for a different book concerning the American Entrepreneur. The seller delivered the book on time, and it was sold by an exceptional book dealer.
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