on October 6, 2000
First off, I'm shocked that no one has yet reviewed this book here. For those Gilder fans out there you know George's inimitable style of erudite and hip prose. He doesn't disappoint in this volume. So what's it about? It's about the determination of individuals to succeed. It's about people who fail, and fail and fail again but don't give up. Some of the stories he tells are almost beyond belief. The story of the Canadian geologist (I don't remember the name--it's been 21/2 yrs since I read it) frankly inspired me. The chapter on Cuban immigrants to Miami should, if there was any justice, be anthologized widely. The story of the founding of the Honda Corporation stunned me. Gilder's book made me take a hard look at my assumptions about what causes success in the business world.
on December 6, 2000
If you're a George Gilder enthusiast and have not yet read the Spirit of Enterprise, then you'll want to do so. If you've never read Gilder and would like an introduction, likewise, this is the book to try. I've read several though not all of Gilder's books, and "Spirit of Enterprise" entralled and educated me, even more than Gilder's other great books. While I enjoyed "Wealth and Poverty" and Gilder's writings on technology, this book, which is about entrepreneuers and their inestimable value in our society, is simultaneously less demanding on the reader, and more engrossing. Read about an Idaho lad who went contrarian, took risk, worked his tail off, revolutionized commercial agriculture, and then, incredibly, seeded one of America's best technology companies. Gilder's enjoyment of such tales is palpable. His explanation of their relevance is erudite. The book is a pleasure, one of the best I've ever read.
on May 19, 2004
I absolutely agree with the surprise of the previous reviewer.
I bought this from amazon.com in the mid-nineties and there were rave reviews even then. Maybe they were removed, somehow.
George Gilder, for all his wrong predictions and over enthusiastic boom time prophesies, really shines with this one.
He is such a good analyst and narrator of past events and their lessons - maybe he should keep there and not try to predict the future.
On the dullest of days, this book can uplift your spirits and infuse a feeling of positivity and optimism that I can hardly describe. The last chapter (Dynamics of Entrepreneurship) alone is worth ten times the weight of the book in gold. If you have ever attempted to create any type of change in the society around you (including starting a business), this book will bless you with a self-awareness and sense of destiny that you will cherish for a long, long time.
It is 12 years since the book has been out, I think it is time for George Gilder to write another update. This time with the heroic entrepreneurial stories from emerging markets like Taiwan, Korea, China and India.
on May 3, 2016
It's wonderful to find people who share the same values and opinions as you do. Gilder does get a little "gushy" at times about Capitalism, 'Free' Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, BUT, that's what got us where we are today. Liberals/Progressives really do believe they are 100% entitled to appropriate OPM (Other People's Money) and redistribute the fruits of other people's labor. Very good read that reminds us of the opportunities that exist in the U.S. that do not in other countries in the world.
In Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise, Gilder coins the best definition of Socialism - "Socialism is a conspiracy of the greedy to exploit the productive." Amen, brother.