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Branson Paperback – August 4, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for ‘Branson’:

'An addictive read, packed with sex, money, tantrums – top quality.’ Guardian

'One of the most devastating books of the year…an explosive book. Bower reveals a remarkable and sinister picture of the man who likes to appear as the ever-smiling hero.' Daily Mail

'Bower's book is a devastating indictment.' Sunday Times

'A damning biography…startling accusations.' Daily Express

About the Author

Tom Bower has a distinguished reputation as an investigative historian, broadcaster and journalist and is the author of several ground-breaking books about tycoons. His most recent works are ‘Conrad and Lady Black’, ‘The Squeeze’ and his biographies of Simon Cowell and Bernie Ecclestone. Among his other much-debated biographies are those of Mohammed Fayed, Richard Branson and Robert Maxwell.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Updated edition edition (August 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007266766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007266760
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul K. on May 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes the surface topic area is Branson. But the real topic area is "a behind the scenes view of how the world actually works."

Carefully researched, and also libel law-suit proof. Hmm, interesting. So Branson isn't shy about suing people, but somehow he decided not to sue this author, who goes over the back story of Branson's dealings in gory detail. Maybe he didn't want to have to testify in court on the material?

I'd compare this book to "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" which describes the seamy underside of world politics. This book "Branson" is the seamy underside of business. Fascinating to understand how he has mastered manipulating the media and popular opinion.

Few people will read this book but many will read the books done by his people about how great he is. Fortunately we still have (some) freedom of speech. Kudos to Bower for having the courage to write this book.

Read even one chapter of "Branson" and you'll never watch another shiny inspirational Branson interview the same way again.

Yes he's brilliant--now understand in what ways. Do you really want to be like him?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adam on December 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I never read autobiographies because I'd rather an outsider's perspective; more objective. But this tilts too much in that direction I think. He seemed to relish Branson-bashing. It's likely his take on things is accurate, but he writes in a way that seems spiteful and well, envious.

Still, I imagine it's a lot more accurate than Branson's own accounts of his life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rotten Johnny on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Richard Branson - The Peoples Champion. The self-made billionaire. The man the British people love to idolise.
But here, in this well-researched account, Branson is revealed for what he really is: not a billionaire, not a trail-blazer, not a Peoples Champion, and not a man to be respected and admired.
Branson can't understand why he was never allowed to run the National Lottery, why in certain circles he is loathed, and why he just isn't taken seriously.
The Billionaire is far from that, and with the details of his struggles with his bankers, British Airways, and a host of others, this book makes the reader realise that Branson is not quite the success story he would like us to think that he is.
Bravo to Bower for revealing the true character of the bad loser, the terrible businessman and the far-from-successful tycoon.
And don't forget that Branson has never attempted to sue Bower, which must clearly mean that here within this book lies the truth behind the "legend".
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Format: Paperback
Entertaining expose of Richard Bransons business career. The book isnt particularly well written but highlights the hypocrisy of the ubiquitous Richard Branson frequently voted top of the business pops. Branson comes across as a puerile, opportunistic, astonishingly crass and unpleasant man.

His main sources of profit would appear to be when he has nestled himself under the protective wings of the state, his airlines (having a dual monopoly on flights to america with BA from heathrow) and trains (having monopolys on various travel routes). He has milked money from both of those ventures and insufficiently carefull partners (who he seems to serially latch onto and suck dry at a phenomenal rate) to finance an extraordinary number of business ventures that have fallen rather flat while he stashes money away into offshore accounts. The news industry plays a bit part in this pretty sordid story, the amount of free publicity and boosting he has recieved from compliant journalists and media organisations probably runs into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Worth buying for the picture of a rather battered Branson dangling on a bungee rope after colliding with a hotel wall on one of his numerous publicity stunts. Well worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This tome showcases Branson's ruthless side, his shady dealings, his unethical rise to the top, and the slippery way he has wooed women, dodged lawsuits, and courted controversy. Like another of Bower's subjects, Mohamed Fayed, Branson has never been successfully sued and outsmarted all of his foes in the business world. And like another infamous billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, Branson has come close to near bankruptcy and yet continued to thrive. A cautionary tale if there ever was one.
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