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Under the Influence, New Edition of the Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty [Kindle Edition]

Terry Ganey , Peter Hernon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

For over a century the Busch name stood for power, wealth, influence and premium beer. The gargantuan Anheuser-Busch brewing empire survived countless public and private scandals.

But in 2008 a foreign competitor swallowed Anheuser-Busch whole. Two years later, a young model died from a drug overdose in the bed of August Busch IV, the last of the kings of beer. It wasn't the first time a woman died in the presence of Busch, a troubled man who constantly sought to please a domineering father.

This new edition of the best-selling "Under the Influence, the Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty" brings readers up-to-date on the Busch family saga with all its scandals and tragedies. It also recounts how Anheuser-Busch became the victim of a hostile takeover, and how that event might have been influenced by the Busches' father-son relationship.

A New York Times best seller when it was first published, the new edition of "Under the Influence" includes disclosures which have never before been made public. These include:

--Before he became known as "Mr. Beer and Baseball" in St. Louis, August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr. was the subject of a federal investigation during World War II because of a suspected connection between a German relative and the Nazis.

--After Gussie's son, August A. Busch III, removed Gussie as head of Anheuser-Busch, Sen. Tom Eagleton offered informal legal advice on whether Gussie should try to regain company control through a suit or proxy fight.

--While a rumor has long been associated with Harry Caray's ouster as the St. Louis Cardinals' play-by-play broadcaster, the truth behind his firing can be found in a long list of complaints about his on-the-air performance that began almost from the moment he sat down behind the microphone.

Since it was first published, "Under the Influence" has been critically praised up to the present day. Dan Okrent, the author of "Last Call, the Rise and Fall of Prohibition," has said "Under the Influence" is "unquestionably the finest book on the American beer industry." Businessweek's Chris Welles said "Under the Influence" was a "Dallas-size saga of sex scandals, family feuds, and a closetful of other skeletons."

"Under the Influence" traces the rise of the empire begun by immigrant robber baron Adolphus Busch, a man who rubbed elbows with the German kaiser and American presidents. It recounts how his son August Busch Sr. kept the company alive during Prohibition only to die tragically, pulling the trigger of a revolver pointed at his heart.

The lusty full life of playboy-businessman August "Gussie" Busch Jr. is recounted in intricate detail. A father of eleven children by three wives, he had everything a father could want: money, power, yachts, a railroad car and a baseball team. Yet he was haunted by the tragic death of a favorite daughter, the arrest and guilty plea of a gunwielding son who had killed a friend, and his own removal from the throne of his brewing empire by another son.

Then, there's August A. Busch III, the aggressive, relentless workaholic whose unbridled ambition forced the palace coup at Anheuser-Busch that ousted his father. He targeted the world as a beer market and ended up cashing in his family's legacy for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Finally, there's August Busch IV, a tragic figure who sought his father's acceptance and approval but who was unprepared for the responsibilities of running a huge brewing empire that had been targeted for takeover. Busch must now live with the fact that two young women died accidental deaths while accompanying him.

Based on hundreds of interviews and documents, this is the astonishing story of a remarkable dynasty--with all their successes and excesses, their devastating personal tragedies, their business genius and unscrupulous dealings--in pursuit of the American dream.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1307 KB
  • Print Length: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Terry Ganey and Peter Hernon; 2 edition (October 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If the story of the Anheuser-Busch dynasty were written as fiction, no one would believe it. The tales of flamboyant characters, New World castles, beer tycoons, tabloid scandals and personal tragedy could keep a sudsy soap opera in business for years.

"Under the Influence" tells all those stories, but also adds the context, historical background and color - based on thorough research and documentation - that makes the book the authoritative history of the world's biggest brewer and the family that founded, expanded and finally sold it.

Authors Terry Ganey and Peter Hernon - two of the best St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalists of their generation - wrote an authoritative, well-documented and highly readable history of the company and the Busch family in 1991. That book, which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, pulled no punches. It was not authorized by the Busch family, which at times sought to block interviews.

This fall, Ganey and Hernon published a new version of the book, updated to reflect fascinating new information on events that have occurred since 1991, including the 2008 merger of Anheuser-Busch and the Belgium-based InBev conglomerate and the 2010 scandal of a model's death at the St. Louis home of the family's last beer king.

The new book also features fascinating revelations about the Busch dynasty that are based on recently-obtained documents and will be of special interest to readers interested in the company, the family, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team (which the brewery once owned) and Missouri politics.

For example, the revised book reveals the federal investigation of Anheuser-Busch magnate August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr. during World War II because a relative was thought (incorrectly) to be a Nazi.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a read!!!!! October 24, 2012
By Coach
Format:Kindle Edition
Outstanding book!!! Very insightful. A must read for anyone interested in the history of brewing and one of America's most colorful families.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but too Journalistic July 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is interesting, but very journalistic in its read. I enjoyed reading the history, but when the book was updated to include the latest debacle of August the younger, I just wanted "more". I had read that the young woman's apartment had been broken into, and there were suspicions that two thugs were hired by August's lawyer to do that to get rid of evidence. No mention in the book. The girlfriend was in her late twenties and just "starting out" on a modeling career. Too old to get into modeling. And even though the newspaper hailed her as beautiful (as they always do, women who meet an untimely death), she had sharp features which would be more in the "striking" category. Obviously with more than one encounter with drugs, I would like to have seen more information on how drug use affected August's ability to manage Busch, and how the family coped with that. Now I think another chapter should be written about William (Billy) and his attempt at starting up his own brewery (Kraftig). This seems to be a quality beer, and it also seems that the Busch Brewery has let theirs slip.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Well written and up to date. April 8, 2013
By Andrew
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great telling of the history of AB. Fascinating information about the main characters in bringing AB to the largest brewer in America only to be taken over by global interests. Can't put it down once you start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I guess money doesn't buy happiness January 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
But it does buy a great read. Being from the midwest made this particularlly interesting to me. The battle between Milwaulkee and St. Louis is a winner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under The Influence January 1, 2013
By Homer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting study of family, personalities, business environment, opulence, and government connections. I attended St. Louis U. in the 1940's and the university president's role was peresonally iinteresting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! December 11, 2012
By laura
Format:Kindle Edition
"Under the Influence" is an amazing, well-researched account of this historic St. Louis family. It relates how the Busches dominated the brewing industry in the area for five generations. And it relates a great history of the region while uncovering some of the Busch family scandals.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written History August 30, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written history of the Busch family. An interesting progression and growth of an industry and a family that built it into one of America's greatest businesses. Shows the family as a great mix of individualism, nerve, and enjoyment of the benefits of such growth. The history of the brewery is fascinating and a map of how it grew with the United States. I was told I would find it negative toward the family but I found only an interesting outline of people, places and a thing called Budweiser.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
pretty good book
Published 2 months ago by Jim Bianco
5.0 out of 5 stars valuable update
I had read this book a number of years before and to now learn more about what occurred in the last few years was very interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeff & June
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
same ole same ole.
Published 4 months ago by Nancy M. Darst
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
How interesting to get into the family and learn much I didn't know.
Published 5 months ago by Alice Waite
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Great book. A really interesting read, that kept you interested the entire time. I would recommend this book to any one interested in the history of one of America's top beer... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kim Vogt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I'll never think of beer in the same way.
Published 7 months ago by Nancy Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Under The Influence
To me this book was a repeat of Bitter Sweet. I did not enjoy it. I felt like I was reading the same thing over again.
Published 8 months ago by mamalitehouse
4.0 out of 5 stars Great info but not an easy read
A very comprehensive story about the Busch dynasty. The only issue I had was that many of the stories go back and forth between the various family members and are not in any... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars All the makings of a soap opera
From the very beginning, the A-B family worked hard and played hard. Creating a story like no other on beer. Read more
Published 15 months ago by bookworm
1.0 out of 5 stars Biased interpretations bring up malignous characters of succesful...
Too many times you read peyoratve phares trying to degrade the character of the Bushes. Acusing them of doing things against the moral standards of today, like hiring people to... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Fernando Castillo
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More About the Author

Terry Ganey is a best-selling author and free-lance writer. As a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting.

Ganey's two non-fiction books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List:

--"Under the Influence, the Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty" (with Peter Hernon) chronicles five generations of a family that controlled the largest brewing company in the world. First published by Simon and Schuster, Business Week described the book as a "Dallas-sized saga of sex scandals, family feuds, and a closetful of other skeletons." The book spent eight weeks on the Times' best seller list. Avon books later brought out the trade paperback. Dan Okrent, the author of "Last Call, the Rise and Fall of Prohibition," has said "Under the Influence" is "unquestionably the finest book on the American beer industry." A new, updated edition of "Under the Influence" is now available as an e-book.

--"St. Joseph's Children, a True Story of Terror and Justice," recounts the case of an innocent man sent to prison for a child murder committed by a serial killer. A courageous FBI agent reverses the injustice while putting the serial killer in prison. The Library Journal called the story "a gripping tale of murder, pursuit, and justice." Originally published by Lyle Stuart, the paperback edition was published by St. Martin's under the title "Innocent Blood," and appeared on the Times best seller list.

A former Associated Press correspondent, Ganey was the projects editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune. As a journalist, he focused on government and politics, the criminal justice system, higher education, insurance and military affairs. His disclosures of Missouri's Second Injury Fund scandal helped send seven men to federal prison and produced $1.6 million in restitution for the state.

In 2003, he covered U.S. Army operations in Iraq and reported on the chaos that existed in Baghdad. More recently, his free-lance work has been published by the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Beacon.

Ganey is the St. Louis editor of the Gateway Journalism Review, a quarterly magazine that covers the media in the Midwest. He also is a visiting professor of journalism at Southern Illinois University and a part-time instructor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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