George Soros was once described as "the only private citizen [of the U.S.] who has his own foreign policy." In this penetrating biography, Michael Kaufman explores the multifaceted life of a man who instead describes himself as "a financial, philanthropic, and philosophical speculator."
Like Intel chairman Andrew Grove, whose memoir Swimming Across touches on some of the same territory, Soros grew up as the scion of a Hungarian Jewish family, many of whose members did not survive the Holocaust. Inclined toward philosophy (a field in which he sometimes writes even today, though many philosophers wish he would not), Soros escaped to England, and later America, and put his sharp mind to work making a huge fortune. Not content to live a leisurely or unexamined life, Soros put more than $1 billion to use in bettering the lives of citizens of formerly totalitarian regimes--and even in hastening the end of dictatorships around the world.
Former New York Times columnist Kaufman delivers a respectful account, closeted skeletons and all, of Soros's life and work, and his book will interest a wide range of readers. --Gregory McNamee
From Library Journal
What makes George Soros such a fascinating topic for biographers? The year 1995 saw Robert Slater's Soros: The Life, Times and Trading Secrets of the World's Greatest Investor and Soros's own Soros on Soros, written with Byron Wien and Krisztina Koenan. Now Kaufman, a former New York Times award-winning reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor, documents the life of this successful but controversial figure, drawing on unpublished manuscripts and interviews with Soros, his family, and acquaintances. The result is this wide-ranging and absorbing book. Although the work covers the full spectrum of Soros's activities, the recurring theme is of Soros the person and his never-ending pursuit of universal truths. Despite his achievements as a remarkable money manager and generous philanthropist, Soros's lifelong dream was to become a noted philosopher. Leaving his home in Budapest at 14, he eventually became a Wall Street maverick and made billions so that he could give it away. Soros has used his wealth to create a network of Open Society foundations in Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union to foster democratic institutions. More recently, he has expanded his philanthropic network to the United States, focusing on various social issues. This comprehensive biography is a good selection for business collections. Bellinda Wise, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
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