Most helpful critical review
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Next time pick your writer better
on May 7, 2003
I'm an I-Banker and enjoy reading biographies of exceptional businessmen. Sandy Weill's recent biography comes to mind as a personal favorite. Since Tom Weisel is an exceptional athlete with many interests similar to mine, I thought I would enjoy this read. Frankly, it's very painful.
First of all, the two-page summary at the end of each chapter written by Weisel would have been a great framework around which to write a biography. But the actual chapters read like a paid self-promotion or someone in the throes of hero-worship. The author consistently talks of what a great athlete Weisel is while making sure he mentions that Weisel never brags about his athletic prowess. No need to given that the writer will glorify the results. Even concerning business the writer manages to find a positive in every event. For example, the original partners split up and start a competing firm but there is no attempt to mention if Weisel's faults could have had any impact. Of course, per this book, he has no faults.
Weisel eventually merges the successful but controversial Montgomery Securities into Nationsbank but after trumpeting this as a great deal, it merges poorly so blame is completely placed on Nationsbank. Now, of course anyone living this large competitive life must trade-in for a 24-year-old trophy wife when he is 49. Unfortunately there is never a significant mention of the break-up of his first marriage other than what a great father he is and how involved he is with all his kids.
This book is so filled with braggadocio that if Weisel were really interested in keeping the profile of a respected businessman, he would have done his best to limit his exposure to this book. Tom Weisel may very well be a great man but great men do not need to have this much said about them in this forum. I'm shocked he agreed to allow his name to be included in this work, as it is not becoming.