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on October 4, 2011
Until recently the conventional wisdom has been that businesspeople do not make good elected officials, perhaps because the temperaments between the two professions are so different. However, the professional politicians have made such an awful mess of our state, local, and federal governments that we are now turning to the tough-minded discipline of business leaders to restore fiscal responsibility.

In 2010 we elected many businesspersons as governors, congresspersons, and senators. They seem to be succeeding in reforming state governments to operate within their budgets. Now Herman Cain is running for President as a businessperson pledging to restore our national economy.

Of course, it isn't just the government that's broken. Big business has also tarnished its reputation by becoming greedy and predatory. Big business has destroyed its workers jobs, poisoned the housing market with toxic mortgage derivatives, turned Wall Street into a den of thieves, and encouraged CEO's to treat companies as their own personal piggy banks. Does Cain possess the extraordinary competence and integrity required to recover our economy that has been debilitated by both the failures of government AND business?

Cain begins to answer that question in the first paragraph:

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I didn't grow up wanting to be president of the United States. I grew up po', which is even worse than being poor. My American dream entailed working hard and making $20,000 a year, but I surpassed that goal and became a corporate CEO, a regional chairman of the Federal Reserve, a president of the Restaurant Association, an author, and an Atlanta talk show host before retiring at sixty-five on cruise control. And then I became a presidential aspirant. But a strange thing happened on my way to cruise control: The country got off-track.
=============================

From that, I gather that Cain is running for the right reason --- a sincere calling to elevate the condition of the country and serve its people.

Then Cain explains how he developed his character. Most of it, he says, came from observing his father. He explains how his dad left impoverished rural Georgia at age 18, hitchhiking to Ohio to find work in a factory. His dad then returned to Atlanta, working three jobs as a barber, chauffer, and janitor; his mother worked as a maid. Cain says:

=============================
I relished those moments. While we were financially poor, we were emotionally rich, and our hard-working parents taught us lessons in dignity, ambition, and the value of formal education. Dad didn't have the opportunity to earn a college degree, but I always tell people that he had a Ph.D. in common sense.

And both of our parents taught us not to think that the government owed us something. They didn't teach us to be mad at this country. They would always say to us: "If you want something, just work hard enough, focus on it, and guess what? You can make it happen!" And Dad made things happen. One day in the summer before I started the eighth grade, he came home and said to us: "Get in the car; we're going for a ride." He drove us to a suburb west of Atlanta, pulled up in front of a six-room, all-brick house on Albert Street, and said, "This is our new home." He had fulfilled his dream of being able to buy a "whole house."
==============================

Cain explains that his dad was so well thought of that he became the private chauffer of the legendary Coca Cola CEO Robert Woodruff. Woodruff gifted him Coca Cola stock. Herman watched his dad prosper through integrity, work, and investment. He describes a man whose life was well balanced between work, love of family, religious values, and desire for success --- a man who started out as an impoverished, uneducated Black kid in rural Georgia at a time when society didn't do Blacks any favors.

Cain has taken this lesson through the rest of his life. He earned his master's in mathematics. He set his goal to become an executive in business by age 40 and succeeded when placed in many challenging positions of large companies. He succeeded as an entrepreneur. Now he has moved into the first tier of presidential contenders.

This book has answered the most important question I wanted to know about Herman Cain: "Does Cain have the character of extraordinary competence and integrity to lead us as President in recovering our debilitated economy?"

After reading the book, the answer is a resounding "Yes."
=============================

Like other Cain supporters I'm disappointed in the revelations about Mr. Cain's personal life that caused him to withdraw from the race in early December. I believe the allegations of sexual harassment made by the first two women who went public are non-credible. However, the story of the last woman who went public, and Mr. Cain's admission that he paid her money, are evidence that Mr. Cain was involved in an improper relationship. A candidate who bases his campaign on integrity and sound business judgment can't continue on when these allegations become credible.

I do believe that the campaign to take down Mr. Cain was very carefully orchestrated. Nevertheless, he put himself in the situation of having a relationship that he should have known had the potential to jeopardize his reputation in business and public life.
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on October 4, 2011
Many people don't know the story of how Herman Cain grew up in the Jim Crow south, only later going on to become a very successful business man. It is very inspirational and this book captures the character, and achievement of Herman perfectly. The forward is just ok but when you get into the actual story Herman will have you laughing your head off while simultaneously making you feel inspired. This book is obviously going to be a favorite for those who know Herman or who listened to his radio show, but I would also urge people to read it who are simply interested in the inspirational story of a civil rights era businessman. His personal trial with racism, his service in the navy, and his multiple turnaround stories are quite enamoring. Great read and must if you want to be an informed voter in the Republican Primary.

If you would like to see Herman's character for yourself try watching this video and then see if you still want to read the book.[...]
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VINE VOICEon October 6, 2011
This review is about the book -- not a review about Herman Cain.

The book is a fast and easy read, written in the first person by Mr. Cain to answer the question "Who is Herman Cain?" that so many people are asking due to his sudden rise as a Presidential Candidate for 2012.

The first third of the book is a quick background of his youth; his parents, his family, how he was raised, what influenced him, and why and how he went to school. An interesting read about what gave him his foundation, and some context on his "formative" years.

A larger third of the book discussed his professional life, how he went from a GS13-14 as a mathematician and government employee with the Department of the Navy, to Pillsbury VP, to Burger King President, and as CEO of Godfathers. This was interesting and informative, as this background provides perspective of how he might "run" the country.

The last part of the book (including appendices) is EXACTLY what you are looking for, and EXACTLY what we wish all candidates would deliver. A checklist of exactly where he stands on the hot issues, and a specific stand on how he would approach problems. No empty rhetoric, no pablum, no double-speak. If EVERY candidate were to publish something like this -- it would go far in helping Americans learn about the candidates directly, without having positions spun positively or negatively by the media. This book is helpful for any voter to learn about Herman Cain, whether one is Republican or Democrat, and whether you fundamentally support or oppose his views.

This is a must read book for every voter, and we can only wish that EVERY candidate will quickly publish a similar primer.
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on October 4, 2011
When I read about the time he and his brother tasted the "white water" from the other water fountain (that their mother told them NOT to drink from) I laughed and cried at the same time. This book told me so much about Herman that I never knew and I've been following him on Atlanta's WSB radio station for years. We spend so much time in these @#$%&* debates trying to get to know people in 60 second sound bytes - I love it that this book allows us to know where he comes from and what his values are. I would love to meet him in person, but for the time being, this book has been the next best thing. A must read!
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on October 7, 2011
I rate the book a 4 star while I rate Mr Cain a 5 star. He the kind of straight talking, truth telling, yarn spinning story teller that I could listen too for hours. I Like this man and I like his thinking . . . we've tried all the professional politicians so why not give one of us a chance. It's our country, so lets put an Amercian with Amercian values in the White House. Get it done!
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on October 11, 2011
When I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I have known about Herman Cain from his radio days when I used to download his podcasts on itunes to listen to his radio show. I liked him then, but I understand him better and love his message more now that I have read this book. I suggest all my fellow Republican's read this book to see why he is our best choice for nominee for president in 2012. His love of family and country shine through. This book tells you not only about his history and why he is qualified but explains to you how he will get the job done once he is elected. Get ready to join the Cain Train for 2012 after you finish this book!
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on October 11, 2011
Book Review: This Is Herman Cain!
Forbes.com 10/11/2011
[...]
by Bill Frezza

Like many Americans, I am starting to pay attention to the implausible black pizza man who insists he is running for president. Until now, the preposterousness of his candidacy had caused me to focus on the rest of the circus troop clamoring to represent the Republican Party in its attempt to spare the country another term of Barack Obama.

The press insists that the race has come down to Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Yet Herman Cain continues to insist that he's running. And, oddly enough, as Romney stalls in the polls and Perry staggers, Cain continues to rise.

Sporadically tuning in to the debates, I keep waiting for Cain to self-destruct. But he insists on saying sensible things. He wants to reform Social Security using the Chilean model? Politicians and the press have been avoiding this example for years, despite the fact that by every measure Chile's approach to social security privatization has been a huge success.

Cain wants to simplify and flatten the tax code, replacing taxes on income and investment with taxes on consumption? He wants to reign in regulatory excess and restore the plain meaning of the Constitution? He claims no secret plan to get us out of Afghanistan but believes that, upon becoming president, he would have to study the issue using the full resources of that office before deciding on a course of action?

Wait a minute. Who is this guy?

So, like many others, I went out and bought his book. I was surprised by the words that flowed across my iPad.

First, Cain writes like he speaks, in plain language. No fifty cent words when nickel words will do. No focus group-tested positions that slip through your fingers when you try to parse them. Just homespun Cain.

Yes, the man is full of himself. But isn't that a prerequisite for running for president? What's different about Cain's life story compared to that of career politicians is that he is a man of genuine accomplishment. And these accomplishments are directly relevant to what is ailing our country.

It is clear from the book that Herman Cain is a man of faith, a huge plus for some voters and a frightening turnoff for others. As a non-believer who nonetheless respects honest religiosity as long as it observes the boundaries of a pluralistic society, I was struck not so much by Cain's faith itself but by the way he uses it. He does not pray for rain. He does not seem eager to wield his Bible as a bludgeon against those who see things differently. Rather, like the life lessons he learned from his father, Cain's faith is a source of strength and personal inspiration, driving him toward ever higher achievement. If there is a better use for faith than that, I haven't seen it.

Cain wants no part of the victim mentality that has held back black Americans while empowering white Americans who made careers out of pandering to historic grievances. He shares a telling anecdote of the time a racist barber refused to cut his hair. Cain's solution? He bought a clipper and cut his own hair. He says he still does.

Cain's rise from a low level manager at Coca Cola to the CEO of Godfather's Pizza is a classic American story of risk, reward, hard work, and a natural talent for leadership. Pushing himself while inspiring others, seeking out the best to work with and for him, mastering the details but taking care not to drown in them, there is much to admire in the arc of his career.

The biggest surprise was learning about his comeback from colon cancer, an issue the media has yet to fully explore. This story is ripe with nuance. Many Americans who have experienced cancer or lost a loved one to its ravages will take inspiration from Cain's miraculous recovery. Others will read the statistics and realize that while he looks like the picture of health and has been in remission for six years, people diagnosed with stage four metastatic colon cancer are living on borrowed time. Like Steve Jobs, Cain's cancer is very likely to come back and kill him-maybe even before he completes his first term.

But, as with Steve Jobs, living with the threat of certain death can do wonders to focus one's mind. Would it be such an awful thing to have a one-term president beholden to no one, who has demonstrated he can fix bankrupt entities, dedicate his four years to pulling our country out of its tailspin? Wouldn't this be better than playing the politics of division while spending half his energy raising a billion dollars to finance a reelection campaign?

Who knows how the primary drama is going to play out, or what Republican power brokers will do when they realize that Cain is a serious contender. But I do know that if you accept the catchphrase "It's The Economy, Stupid," this pizza man is worth a look. The country could do a lot worse-and has for the past eleven years.

# # #

Bill Frezza is a Boston-based venture capitalist. He can be reached at bill@vereverus.com. If you would like to subscribe to his weekly column drop a note to publisher@vereverus.com or follow him on Twitter @BillFrezza.
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on October 10, 2011
Read 3/4ths of the Kindle edition the first day I received it. Very well written.

This man is a marvel. He is truly brilliant, very well educated, a mathematician, has a graduate degree in computer science, and has turned around several large companies. That's just for starters.

He is the citizen patriot volunteering to run the gantlet of vicious and untrue media insults to bring sensibility to the Oval Office. Who better to bring his story to a wider audience than Herman Cain himself?

I sincerely recommend this book to all interested in evaluating the current candidates in more depth.

UPDATE 10/19/11. Finished reading Mr.Cain's book within two days of receiving it (Kindle edition). Today I picked up bumper stickers I had printed for myself. They say (large letters top line, smaller size letters second line):

HERMAN CAIN
GINGRICH

I've made up my mind about who I think is best qualified to be the next President and the next Vice President. We've also sent a donation to Mr. Cain's campaign. Get on board: his campaign needs cash.

Today's Rassmussen Poll says Obama and Romney are within a point of each other -- and notes that the only Republican candidate ahead of Obama is Cain!

Cain and Gingrich are the only ones in the debates actually answering the questions and not attacking any other candidate.
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on October 6, 2011
If you're reading this, you're probably wondering if you should vote for Herman Cain in the next Presidential Election. Look no further: "This is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House" will give you all the background you need to know about the man, including his rise to the CEO of Godfather's Pizza and brief, no-nonsense explanations of his political positions.

"I have always been more motivated by the possibility of success than by the fear of failure."

This quote is the foundation behind Herman Cain's success in the business world. Mr. Cain shows readers that he knows how to run a business, and is not afraid to take risks. His humorous telling of his early life all the way to the politics of the present day make this book a real page-turner.

If you are concerned about the state that our country is in, and are intrigued by the idea of having a businessman in the White House, then this book is for you. From a man who has shown that he can get the job done, Herman Cain gives readers a strong argument on why he is the best candidate for the job, and this book is that next step in helping Americans make an informed vote on Election Day.
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on October 11, 2011
I have read some of the (1) star reviews and it appears that they are only trolling for some reason or another. I found the book to be an easy read. I purchased it on my Kindle account and it took me about four hours to read it. This book is exactly what the title says, "This is Herman Cain". It gives a high level account of where he has come from and why he is running for president. I am leaving off my political comments as this is not the place for them.
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