From Publishers Weekly
Media mogul Black, president of Hearst Magazines (Cosmopolitan
, Harper's Bazaar
), delivers a memoir masquerading as a guide to career and life. Enthusiastic and hard-working, Black was one of the first women to take a major role in American magazine and newspaper publishing. She came to Hearst by way of New York
magazine, where she was the first woman publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, and USA Today
, which she helped build from a small upstart into one of the country's most widely read daily papers. Though she positions herself as a role model for professional women, her advice is slim and scattershot. The book mainly consists of anecdotes from her working life and fawning praise for Al Neuharth, retired chairman and CEO of newspaper publisher Gannett Co. and her unofficial mentor. It's an interesting portrait of a groundbreaking career, but Black backs up her own story with only a note or two of advice, waiting until nearly the end of the book to tackle what she originally claims is her main point: the 360 Life, or the difficulty of balancing work with personal life. While the author's life is an interesting one, readers looking for tips will do better with a more pointed book. (Oct.)
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does a great job of telling the story of how Cathie deftly navigated the challenges of the workplace and the media business, while also trying to balance the demands of a busy life. Her practical tips on handling typical workplace situations make this an important read for any woman who wants to become a better colleague, a better leader ... and a better person.”
, President & CEO, eBay Inc.
"Bravo for Basic Black
! After reading this book, I understand more than ever why Cathie Black is the huge success she is today. She’s totally fearless! She shares her triumphs, but perhaps best of all, she shares her mistakes so that we can learn from them. I love her candor. Whether you're starting your career or going full throttle, you will benefit from Cathie's insights into business--and life. Basic Black
is a true must-read.
, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine
"I’m a big Cathie Black fan–in part because we both believe that where you come from in no way determines where you can get to. If you think it, you can create it.Cathie’s career is living proof of that and her experiences, both professional and personal, make for fascinating reading. The life lessons in these pages are smart, true, and reassuring, no matter where you are in your career."
, author of Women and Money
and The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom
"Cathie Black is exactly the kind of mentor every woman needs: a talented executive at the top of her game willing to tell it like it really is. Imagine having a private lunch with one of the most powerful women in business, and then feast on her wonderful book. Basic Black
is among the very best insider accounts of how to succeed as a leader."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter
, Harvard Business School professor and author of Confidence
and America the Principled
"Cathie Black demystifies the workplace with her typical brand of pragmatic insight and engaging humor. Basic Black
provides a practical guide to the traits we see demonstrated by our greatest leaders at GE---passion, drive, attitude, risk taking, and the ability to nurture and develop great talent. I had fun reading Basic Black
, and thought to myself...This is someone I would like to work for."
—Jeffrey R. Immelt
, Chairman and CEO, GE
"As every woman needs basic black in her wardrobe, she also needs Basic Black
on her bookshelf. This is the perfect handbook on getting ahead while staying true to yourself."