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Many Happy Returns: The Story of Henry Bloch, America's Tax Man Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470767774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470767771
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,173,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Henry Bloch is America's tax man. He and his brother Richard pioneered the commercial tax preparation industry, and the two tycoons built the world-leading firm that has prepared over 500 million returns, H&R Block. But Henry's life deserves to be studied for another reason: His remarkable entrepreneurial philosophy and extraordinary humanitarianism will have a lasting impact on generations.

Many Happy Returns tells the compelling story of this unlikely American hero through Henry's son Tom, who worked alongside his father for nearly twenty years and interviewed him extensively for this book. Here, for the first time, you'll gain illuminating insights into a man whose selfless and unassuming nature made him an uncommon corporate icon. As Time once wrote, "He is a direct, plain-spoken Midwesterner in a brown suit and brown shoes, the type of fellow for whom the word unpretentious was invented."

As a budding entrepreneur, Bloch could barely eke out a living. Discover how he started his company from the bottom up, and get a rare look at the inner dynamics of one of the most well-known brands in America. Along the way, you'll also meet some of the people who shaped his philosophy on business and life, and receive invaluable tips on entrepreneurship from the man whose hard work, vision, and pioneering spirit set the standard for those seeking true success.

As much a personal story as a business story, Many Happy Returns offers intimate details about Henry Bloch's belief in the importance of mentoring and giving back. Woven within this rich history of H&R Block are examples of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship—including the Bloch Scholars, the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration to name a few—which have enriched the lives of many and transformed communities.

In a time filled with greed and corruption, Henry Bloch inspires us to work hard, be honest, and follow our dreams. His ingenuity, determination, and core values propelled him to the pinnacle of business success and have allowed him to help others through countless charitable efforts. Many Happy Returns is a fascinating portrait of one of America's greatest entrepreneurs, and it shows you what it really takes to succeed—in both your professional and personal life.

From the Back Cover

"I always wanted to do something different, something more than just a job, something to contribute to society."
—Henry W. Bloch, cofounder and Honorary Chairman, H&R Block, Inc.

Many Happy Returns

In 1955 Henry Bloch and his brother Richard founded H&R Block and forged an industry. Through a mixture of hard work, persistence, and luck, they transitioned their Kansas City-based bookkeeping business into a tax preparation firm just as the IRS scheduled to discontinue its free taxpayer assistance in the area. Two years later, with seventeen offices in three states, the Blochs proudly rolled out the slogan, "Nation's Largest Income Tax Service."

Over the course of more than fifty years, H&R Block grew to become the largest commercial tax preparation firm in the world, with a vast web of more than 10,000 outlets and 100,000 associates. Along the way, Henry Bloch proved that someone with good instincts, fortitude, and a fervent desire to help others can achieve both success and significance. Many Happy Returns tells the compelling story of this company and its self-effacing, down-to-earth cofounder through Henry's son Tom, who worked alongside his father for nearly twenty years and interviewed him extensively for this book.

Page by page, you'll gain an up close look at this successful organization—from how it was built to its thorniest challenges, most gut-wrenching defeats, and greatest triumphs. And you'll come across timeless lessons that can be applied to your own business endeavors. Many Happy Returns also explores the essential aspirations and indispensable philosophies of Henry Bloch, and provides fresh insights on the importance of social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy in today's society.

Inspiring and informative, Many Happy Returns is the powerful story of a humble, benevolent, and determined man who achieved the American Dream. If you want to gain true success in both business and life, understanding Henry Bloch's journey can help you get there.


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Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
Mr Bloch is truly an inspiration to me.
Kmarcum
Reading about his involvement and rolling up his sleeves to get things done is inspiring.
Marc
The book is an easy read that is interesting and inspiring.
leadership lady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marc on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a story of a corporate icon who did every thing right. He was determined to start a business and he never gave up even when it looked like he should. And once he was successful, he focused his energy on philanthropy and giving back to the community that had treated him so well. Reading about his involvement and rolling up his sleeves to get things done is inspiring. Too often these tycoons just write a check, but Mr. Bloch did so much more.

In an era of corporate greed and doing whatever it takes to make a bundle of money, Henry Bloch's story is a lesson for us all. Rather than lining his pockets by raising prices every year, Bloch put the customer first and grew a business in which competitors could not afford to play. In the early years he turned down salary raises that the board insisted he and brother Richard take, instead using those funds to fuel company expansion.

It was also interesting to read about how Mr. Bloch feels about the challenges the company has faced in recent years. After reading how he built the company, I feel sorry for him to see the company he built struggling so much.

The stories that his son the author tells are compelling and sometimes quite humorous. This is not a typical "how-to" business book. Whether you are in college wondering what to do with your life or one of those people who remembers Mr. Bloch from when he was on TV giving us 17 reasons to have our taxes done at H&R Block, you will learn a lot and enjoy yourself in the process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By leadership lady on January 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is an easy read that is interesting and inspiring. Each chapter ends with a summary of Henry Bloch's lessons learned/words of wisdom that can be quickly referred to at any time. He began as an average man who blazed an amazing entrepreneurial and philanthropic path. The courageous who dream of owning their own business would find renewed strength from this straight-forward book, and the seasoned business owner would find renewed focus. Interviewers love to ask oustanding leaders "what is the secret to your success"? Henry Bloch has candidly and graciously shared his secrets with the reader. Take the opportunity to learn!
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By Kmarcum on February 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Bloch is truly an inspiration to me. I really enjoyed getting to learn about the foundation that my career was built on.
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By June S Payne on December 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the story of how H&R Block the tax service was started. This was not an overnight success. He and his brother worked long hours for little money when they started. Now in his senior years he still works to help other people. His charity works are well known in Kansas City. This is a man to be respected. I liked this book very much.
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