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What Would Ben Stein Do: Applying the Wisdom of a Modern-Day Prophet to Tackle the Challenges of Business and Life Hardcover – October 25, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review




Author Ben Stein
Two Questions with Ben Stein
What is the craziest question you’ve ever been asked?
How much money I have. That came from someone I had just met. That was insane.

What is your favorite question anyone has ever asked you?
Just this June, I told a group of men and women at a real estate finance company that I loved meeting people. A young man asked me, "Why do you like meeting people?" It was a stunning question that made me think that in some instinctual way, just meeting new people is encouraging to the human soul.




From the Inside Flap

Why should you let Ben Stein tell you how to live? Who's he to say what's what?

The reason you should listen to Ben Stein is, quite simply, he says a lot of smart stuff about many different things. He's the wise old owl perched in a tree, waiting to answer all of your questions about life, marriage, work, and money.

Delivered with the dry, honest wit that millions of people have come to know and love, Ben Stein shares his advice on nearly every topic imaginable, from the importance of being a loving spouse to the folly of supply-side economics. Understand the value of punctuality, sleep, and diversification. Let his wisdom guide you in coping with loss, feelings of despair, and national deficits.

Stein's experience from Washington to Hollywood—and everywhere in between—makes him an ideal individual to offer guidance to others. His expertise in countless fields substantiates his keen observations on the range of challenges that people face every day. What Would Ben Stein Do? Well, he would read this book. Learn something new and useful from Ben Stein today.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118038177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118038178
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Stein (Los Angeles, CA) is a respected economist who is known to many as a movie and television personality, but has worked more in personal and corporate finance than anywhere else. He has written about finance for Barron's, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Fortune; was one of the chief busters of the junk-bond frauds of the 1980s; has been a longtime critic of corporate executives' self-dealing; and has cowritten eight finance books. Stein travels the country speaking about finance in both serious and humorous ways, and is a regular contributor to CBS's Sunday Morning, CNN, and Fox News. He was the 2009 winner of the Malcolm Forbes Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Goeckel on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Before you buy this book, I recommend you lay your hands on a copy at a local bookstore and read a couple of the (very) short chapters. I believe you will figure out very quickly (5 minutes) whether this is worth your time and money.

Here is my take: I have a favorable opinion of Ben Stein based on all of his previous work (all detailed on the jacket of the book): he seems like a smart, funny accomplished guy. So, when my dad passed this book along, I was excited to read it. Regardless of how I feel about the advice being given (I agree with some parts, not with others), it is the shallowness of the arguments that was surprising to me: I can hear this level of advice simply eavesdropping on conversations on the bus or in the local cafe. How much time did Ben Stein (or whomever ghosted this for him) actually put into it? I feel that perhaps there is a Ben Stein joke here: on the reader for buying an advice book from someone like him. That is the only way this book works.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
You know Ben Stein from his work on TV, in the movies, and maybe form his wide variety of books, his financial articles, and even hosting his own Emmy winning game show (Win Ben Stein's Money). This is just touching the surface of all the things he has done. The variety is nearly endless. And he has been pretty darn successful in everything he has done. Which is not to say he hasn't made mistakes; he would be the first to admit that he has. But he learns from his trips through the mine fields of life and this book is about sharing with us what his broad experience in the highs and lows of life, the superficial and the deep in human relationships, and the bright lights of celebrity and the dark nights of the soul have taught him.

The book consists of thirty-three short chapters where Stein discusses a specific aspect of life that, depending on how we implement the principle, will contribute to our happiness or walk us into pain and despair. Stein's basic point is that we are either making ourselves stronger or weaker. We are either connecting to life and the good things in the universe or isolating ourselves and foolishly leaning on our frail abilities.

Mr. Stein focuses on building the aspects of your life that will give you a foundation and a source of healing and strength as you go through the storms of life. He emphasizes, rightly, the importance of marriage and how to form one for a lifetime. I enjoy how he uses examples from his own life and the lives of people he has known to illustrate what tends to flow from heeding or disregarding these principles. Many of these stories are also quite funny.

Of course, marriage is about family and Stein also takes us through relationships with our parents and our kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Tripoli on February 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
really not worth the time or the money.... trite, poorly reasoned, with a few 'jokes' to help you forget you've been milked like a skinny cow...
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By Shawna Mahan on March 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am really enjoying most of Stein's books. This one is more random than the other books he authored that I have read, but I do think it is more stream of consciousness than others. His philosophy resonates with mine. I don't feel like the last sane person in a crazy world when I read his books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Ben's book I immediately ordered six for my grandkids. The advice is basic, clear and to the point. Especially on picking a mate. Recommend highly.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dpark on December 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have read as applies to the problems that exist in our family. My 46 year old daughter and 3 boys (6,13,and 15) live with us as her job was outsourced to India by IBM. The father is out of state "looking" for a job he has never had that will make him rich. He refuses to take a mundane job! The book is a must read for people like him. (He refuses to read it) The "Get a Job" part is so so true and so "right on!" This should be mandatory reading for any family. The boys won't read it so we read it to them. Thank you Ben Stein:)
This is a book that needs to be "Chewed and digested" Read it again!
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By Robert Hess on December 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written by a genius so that even I can understand it! Clear, concise and common sense. Too bad there aren't politicians who can be as honest as Ben.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Stelzenmuller on March 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is mostly Ben Stein, the older citizen, looking at how a kind and rational world would look. We expected maybe actor-Ben Stein or the economist-Ben Stein, but this very fine series of essays shows a very human, very personable individual-Ben Stein looking at himself, and at other people. "Gratitude" indeed would be the thread running through most of this very readable book. He hits the command key of thankfulness - for accomplishments, for the people in our lives, for the things we have and have done for us, and for the country in which Americans are fortunately born.

Stein's wide-ranging - and satisfying - preachings about the importance of self-respect in personal appearance and conduct infuse the text. See, for example, how too many people look and act in airports. See, especially, his analysis of the really successful marriage.

Ben Stein, the economist, on the other hand, comes across strangely. His adamant postions on fiscal policy (taxes) and monetary policy (big money) do not sound like one would think. The small problem here is that he doesn't support these positions. Perhaps we should be thankful that we do NOT hear an endless, supported position from an economist. ("On the other hand")!

One might say that the very most interesting part about this book comes from Ben Stein telling of his less-than-straight earlier adulthood. Ben Stein the straight-lace, Ben Stein the monotone-speaker apparently was not always so. Who would have guessed! Nevertheless, through the book, we still find ourselves thinking, "Bueller ... Bueller ... Bueller...?"
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