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Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success + Unstoppable: 45 Powerful Stories of Perseverance and Triumph from People Just Like You + Extraordinary Comebacks: 201 Inspiring Stories of Courage, Triumph and Success
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tallfellow Pr (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931290172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931290173
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Young is a multi-talented writer and motivational speaker. In addition to writing for The Tonight Show, his articles have appeared in major newspapers and national magazines. He is winner of the 2000 Prism Award, recognizing his ability to blend entertainment with important social issues. Mr. Young resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Diana, and their children, Casey and Kelly.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In his preface, author Young states: "Parents, teachers, coaches, business supervisors, religious authorities, authors and critics of all sorts, inadvertently or not, have been responsible for dulling aspirations and destroying dreams." Isn't that so true!

From failure (and/or punishment) many of us are afraid to try again. For those who say, "I can't" without ever saying "I'll try," -- this book's message will shake you into trying again.

Steve Young has collected over 60 personal stories of failure from entertainers, adventurers, medicine, politics, business, war, and so much more. A few are stories I've heard, most are new to me. Some writers are famous; others not. All have the message that failure is the "best thing" that ever could happen to them.

Starting with Erin Brockovich, the authors range from Jane Goodall to Jamie Goldman, John Wooden, Bill Walton, Steve Allen, Ann Bancroft, Guy Gabaldon, Robert Townsend and Sam Donaldson and a whole of lot other interesting people in between.

The stories are all great. I had to read every word. This is NOT a book I'll pass along -- it will remain mine, but I will tell everyone about it.

I liked the one about Minnesota Viking's Jim Marshall who ran the wrong way and made a touchdown for the other team. He admitted his mistake, learned from it -- and in telling others, it allowed people everywhere to share mistakes they made and never told anyone about until they told Marshall.

After the stories, the second best thing is the wonderful collection of quotes focusing on failure and success.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Great Failures Of The Extremely Successful by Steve Young (a man who failed college four times; discharged from the army after three months; divorced; fired from 23 jobs in the summer of 1968; failed businessman; losing contestant on both "The Dating Game" and "The Gong Show"; dropped from four literary agencies; and the recipient of a "gazillion" book, television and film rejections) is a collection of unique anecdotes about the stumbling blocks many famous and wealthy people encountered on the way to success, ranging from basketball star Bill Walton, to humorist Steve Allen, to advocate Erin Brockovich. Offering valuable life lessons, and most of all, emphasizing the importance of getting back on the metaphorical horse after being thrown, Great Failures Of The Extremely Successful is an enjoyable, enlightening, motivating, and highly recommended addition to any self-help, self-improvement reading list or library reference collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Kelly on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a realistic book that the "average Joe/Josephine" can relate to. After being turned off by many "new age" books whose philosophies seemed impossible to live up to, I read one chapter of this book and knew that the author, Steve Young, was a real person, someone just like me; not a fraud, not a guru, just a fellow human being who has amazingly turned failure into a "plus". I found that concept so odd, so creative, that I had to read on.
For all you cynics out there, for all you content people, for absolulety anyone from anywhere who's experienced anything or everything, you'll finally read something fresh, something new.
Definitely an easy read for the thinking person! Loved it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a community college English instructor, teaching adults who are often struggling with their perceived failures, I am utilizing Steve Young's book, Great Failures of the Extremely Successful, as a resource. Overwhelmed by low self-esteem and toiling under the shadow of past defeats, a student can find inspiration in Steve Young's book. Open it; it's a toolbox for better living. For anyone interested in finding the courage to change the things that can be changed, this book will serve as a guide. Supplement it in class with a novel such as, This Boy's Life, by Tobias Wolff or non-fiction such as Ruben Martinez' recently published book, Crossing Over, or Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin.
The only thing that Steve Young's book cannot fix are my car problems, which are numerous. Despite that, I relish Great Failues of the Extremely Successful. This book helps me see that I (a single mother of two, and the driver of an unlovely, little car with over 216,000 miles on it), am also an extremely successful person, in my own right.
I can only offer one warning. If you are bent on being unwrinkled by life, or if you recently invested a lot of money in botox injections, read Great Failures of the Extremely Successful with caution. The laughter and tears in this volume will make smile-lines on your soul. Read it with delight!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara S. Cohen on September 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an inspirational book about turning "I can't" into "I will." The philosophy of the book is that our mistakes are necessary for growth. We don't learn from being perfect; we learn from our failures. If we persevere, we can succeed.
It consists of sixty contributions from people (many in entertainment and sports) who have overcome adversity and achieved success. Some faced external adversity; others had handicaps they had to overcome. The contributors are impressively honest about their problems, such as bed-wetting, school failure, poor decisions, stuttering and alcoholism, and how they managed to overcome them.
On many pages there are inspirational quotes. There are also predictions of failure which history has proven shockingly wrong. Almost every invention that is now a fixture in our lives - radio, TV, telephone - was originally thought to be impossible or useless. Failure was even predicted for the Beatles!
The pieces read like the spoken word, not the written word. They are heartfelt and represent the wisdom of people who have struggled and persevered. They are truly inspirational.
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