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The Prince of Beers (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Alex Berenson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August Busch IV had everything -- or seemed to. In 2006, Busch became the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch, the sixth member of his family to control the legendary brewery. At age 42, Busch was handsome, wealthy, married to a beautiful woman, and running one of the biggest companies in America.

Two years later, Busch lost control of Anheuser-Busch. Soon he was jobless, divorced, and struggling with alcohol and drugs. Then he woke to find his girlfriend, a waitress named Adrienne Martin, dead in his bed. From prize-winning novelist and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, The Prince of Beers is the true story of the secrets, lies, addiction, and family dysfunction behind Martin's death and Busch's shocking downfall.

Editorial Reviews Review

The Fourth was no Third, and he knew it. August Busch IV, the coked up, reckless son of August III, was a man-child whose love of expensive toys, drugs, and women helped drag down the family empire, Anheuser-Busch. Alex Berenson's aggressively reported story--part murder mystery, part Shakespearean tragedy--catches up with August the Fourth two years after his doomed 18-month reign as CEO of his family's company, which ended in 2008 when the 150-year-old family business fell into the hands of its Brazilian rival, InBev. Berenson, spy novelist, former New York Times reporter, and author of the Kindle Single Lost in Kandahar, dutifully cites the works of those who've covered similar ground, but focuses primarily on a girlfriend's mysterious death, revealing how hubris, hard living, and greed led to the foreign takeover of America's beer. Ultimately, The Prince of Beers is a father and son story. The Fourth's father was Anheuser-Busch's greatest modern leader, the brains behind Bud Light and the man responsible for making Budweiser a powerhouse. Like all the Busches, August III championed a chest-thumping family culture that valued competition, guns and fishing, and women and drinking--all of which, over the years, resulted in messy divorces, squandered millions, and shattered families. Maybe it was inevitable that one Busch would go too far. Two years after losing control of the company, The Fourth was worth $100 million but was jobless, struggling to shoulder the burden of losing the family business. He indulged in expensive cars, guns, drugs, and women, one of whom died at his mansion in 2010. Berenson uses the investigation of Adrienne Martin's death to profile a flawed and doomed son, his too-tough father, and the dethroning of the King of Beers. --Neal Thompson

About the Author

Alex Berenson is a former New York Times reporter whose work led to federal indictments and billions of dollars in corporate fines. His bestselling, Edgar Award-winning John Wells spy novels have sold more than a million copies.

Product Details

  • File Size: 175 KB
  • Print Length: 31 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ADIF978
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortably Numb December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this new journalism format. A buck ninety nine to sit absorbed in the unfiltered, seemingly unedited words of the author. I am a gigantic John Wells fan, and only partially because I'm a gigantic Alex Berenson fan. And I most like to read them via audiobook, where I can feel as though the storyteller is speaking directly to me. Well, that's pretty much how Kindle Singles work -- guy's got something to say and he says it.

Here the topic is the sad and lonely life of a world class screw-up. August Busch IV is like King Midas in reverse -- everything he touches turns to crap. In the hands of a lesser writer I would have found myself hating Busch IV, who'd been handed everything and threw it all away, unraveling an iconic American brand and the employer of 30,000 in the process. But Berenson manages to extract some empathy even for this boorish rake. Busch's struggle to win the approbation of an aloof and demanding father will be recognizable even to those whose fathers didn't happen to run the biggest brewery in the world. It doesn't absolve baby Busch for the two women whose death he at least had an ignoble role in hastening, if not outright causing. But I feel for the guy.

As I finished reading this, the Pink Floyd song "Comfortably Numb" came on my ipod. Fitting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Busch More Interesting than the Presidents November 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't drink much beer, don't care for celebrity bios, really hate celebrity expos, but I greatly admire author Alex Berenson's prose, so when I saw this profile article, I immediately downloaded it & read it, start to finish in 1 sitting. (That's just 1 of the benefits of a Kindle single.) This fascinating review of August Busch IV, heir to the Anheuser-Busch beer brewing empire, is a dynamic but sad story of someone who has never emerged from his father's long shadow to make his own positive mark in his family, much less in the world his ancestors so affected.

You wouldn't think a bio of a beer brewer in St. Louis would have the drama & chaos of, say, a Manhattan insider trader or a Paris couture maven, but Berenson's observations & insights draw us into this tragic story. Busch IV never experienced his father's love, never demonstrated the ability to run the A-B empire, never gave his love to another, & thus never found peace & happiness. Two of his female companions died in his presence, at least partly because of the spill-over of his self-destructive ways. But these are only the most glaring examples of his failures, failures despite his family's legacy, fortune, & interventions to keep him out of trouble. Now in his late 50s, Busch IV is marking time w/his millions -- no job, no philanthropies, no friends. Even his family, Berenson points out, left him in CO while they holidayed in HA recently.

Without Berenson's deft touch, this would be a completely depressing story. But as w/any of his best-selling suspense novels, this story reminds us that the story is not yet over, & the losses of yesterday still have the potential to point toward tomorrow. I didn't care about Busch IV before I began reading this profile. I do now. I hope Berenson will revisit this man in future & that the landscape will not be so bleak.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an uncompelling person becomes a compelling story November 28, 2012
By giack
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
basically, "the prince of beers" is a history book. facts are presented, interviews conducted and insights are gleaned, in this case about august busch iv, heir to the anheuser busch brewing company. in another writer's hands such a tale might be nothing more than a sensationalist morality tale better served on cable television than the written page. however, in the hands of alex berenson, a writer who is both a journalist and compelling mystery/thriller writer (see the john wells series of books, of which "the night ranger" is due out next), the story takes on a life of its own even as it dissects the lives of busch iv and the women who tragically got too close to him. august busch iv was a party boy with an age-old tale to tell, he wanted his father's respect. he lived a life of privilege and excess. berenson touches upon some of that life here. there are things left out, but this is written as a kindle single, and there is enough for us to get the point. berenson somehow takes this unsympathetic, spoiled, rich boy and imbibes him (yes, it's a drinking pun) with just enough pathos to leave him more tragic and less insipid than i previously thought. i have some history with the anheuser busch company, some firsthand knowledge of its business practices and some previous knowledge of "four" (as he was known), but here in "the prince of beers" (whether it was intentional by berenson or not), i have learned that he might have deserved less hatred and more sympathy for his life choices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting January 8, 2013
By Lisa
Format:Kindle Edition
I didn't know much about the Bush family but I live in stl so I've always seen the headlines. This book was filled with facts & stories of a rich lonely man who was extremely over privileged to the point where he has absolutely no personal responsibility. He killed 2 women and paid his way to freedom. His desperate need for daddy's approval is sickening.....Aside from jumping around on the dates, I found this novel to be well written, accurate, and intriguing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read November 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alex is a master of the quick-pace genre that leaves you unable to stop reading. This story is both exciting and tragic at the same time. I'm glad he decided to write this and found it a worthy look into this sad story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Alex Berenson is a Exceptional Writer
Why would I read a book about the Busch Family? The reason is Alex Berenson! Mostly by accident I came across Berenson's "Faithful Spy. Read more
Published 21 days ago by BigDaddy13
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Living in St Louis it's interesting to here more about the Busch's life. I'd like to read a full biography some time.
Published 1 month ago by Renee Duddy
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
There was no real story line behind the words and I found myself just waiting the book to end. I am glad that I didn't pay anything for this read.
Published 4 months ago by MissMia
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Pretty good book. Well written, thoroughly studied the fourth before jotting down a word. Interesting to read the craziness of the family who holds the namesake of the beer I... Read more
Published 4 months ago by jkasp
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I enjoyed this book
Published 5 months ago by Jim Bianco
4.0 out of 5 stars Given the Brevity, a Solid Read
This is a story that I sincerely wish the author had developed into a full blown novel.

For only 31 pages, the Kindle Single manages to touch on many facets of the Busch... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Garrett Denney
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK History of the Busch Family
This is a readable history of the last of the Busch family and the weakening of Anheiser-Busch to the point that it was acquired by ImBev.
Published 15 months ago by George F. Wenchel
5.0 out of 5 stars Busch goes broke
This a short, interesting, behind the scenes of the rich and famous, kind of story, about a very iconic family & the iconic brand & product they represent.
Published 20 months ago by salmonking
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected more of a story
Seem like an easy way to make a buck off a short story. Not going to get deep on the details. This is more of an introduction, but for the price I guess its worth the read.
Published 23 months ago by Chip
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous. Must read.
Great story - well written, good pace. It reads like a long Vanity Fair article. And I think that's a good thing.
Published 23 months ago by Alison
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