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Call Me Ted Hardcover – November 10, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or thinking about myself, Turner claims, but the media tycoon turns out to have a pretty good memory—except for certain events, like the death of his younger sister, which he admits he's suppressed completely. After dropping out of college, Turner worked his way up from the bottom of his father's billboard company, which he inherited when his father committed suicide, and then slowly turned it into an international media empire—an uphill battle he records in entertaining detail (I don't think of myself as losing, he says of the occasional setbacks, drawing on his experiences as a champion sailor. I'm simply learning how to win). Turner's version of events is frequently interrupted by supplementary Ted Stories from those closest to him, including his children and business colleagues—even competitors. These commentaries are not always complimentary; in two passages, ex-wife Jane Fonda candidly discusses the psychological blocks she believes keep him from achieving full emotional and spiritual intimacy. There's little to challenge Turner's provocative reputation, but his reflections reveal the depth of calculation behind his career as a so-called loose cannon. (Nov. 11)Correction: The correct publisher of The Empathy Gap, reviewed Oct. 27, is Viking.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Turner's personality infuses every page of 'Call Me Ted." (USA Today)

"One of the best business books of 2008." (USA Today)

"Mr. Turner is surprisingly candid...There is a remarkable lack of regret in Mr. Turner's writing, or of defensiveness...Mr. Turner's mantra seems to be to keep moving on." (The Economist)

"The new memoir Call Me Ted makes the Mouth of the South seem like a pleasant-even modest!-creature." (The Daily Beast Michael Korda)

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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446581895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581899
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniela Haglund on November 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to reading CALL ME TED, but being busy and multitasking, I decided to by the CD version.

I listen and re-listen to Ted's story. What amazed me most about this package was that Ted recorded every page of his 500 page book while recovering in the hospital - it took him 40 to 45 hours to record.

This in itself is a world breaking record to begin with. Does he understand what being tired means? I don't think so... you can hear his voice weakening in some moments, but that was the best part of why I find it inspirational.

They keep saying that his life was difficult, or his childhood was a complex one. At that time not many kids had the brightest of childhoods, but none of them were like Ted. He was about what you want for tomorrow in your life, and how you want the day after tomorrow to unfold. That is Ted Turner to me as his reader (or in this case, listener). He is a hard working, very intelligent and creative, long vision and determined, most honest, loving, caring, and a patriot to the core. What is most important, Ted Turner, achieved all of this alone, he created ideas all alone, he managed to make it happen all alone, and he stands all alone. I read almost every biography of successful people and by far this one tops them all. I am very thankful to be able to read someone's life as great as his in a most straight to the point and yet inspiring way. Whatever happens behind closed doors in his real life, this is what we need to see and read, to feel inspired, and this book did it for me. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
Some people get ulcers. Other people give ulcers. I suspect that Ted Turner falls into the second category. "Call Me Ted" is an engaging look at business maven turned philanthropist Ted Turner. We have here the story of his unusual childhood, the tutelage of a tyrannical father who sent Ted off to boarding school at the tender age of four. Turner's father developed a successful billboard company in the South before committing suicide by blowing his brains out.

Son Ted takes over the family business and through drive and grit catapulted into a multi-million-dollar corporation. With his passion for sailing, there was not much time for Turner to attend to his various wives ore kids and it probably was no piece of cake being married to him or being one of his children. Ted Turner appears to have a type AAA relentlessly restless personality that borders on hyper kinetic.

Personally, I was less engrossed in the details of the Time Warner corporate maneuverings and more interested in just what makes Ted Turner tick. If you could bottle his drive, there would be no energy crisis. Clearly in his twilight years, he has shifted his focus from the business world to global concerns as evidenced by his $1 billion gift to the United Nations. Those who enjoy People magazine will also get Turner's perspective with regard to his wooing of, marriage to and ultimate divorce from Jane Fonda.

"Call me Ted" is an absorbing biography of a modern-day American business icon whose antics have given him larger than life status.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had forgotten about what an amazing life Ted Turner has had, from winning the America's Cup (as the skipper) to winning the World Series (as an owner) and building the cable industry. His is an inspiring story and the personal side is interetsing as well.

I have read many of the big business biographies, and some are more substantive and rewarding than others. This one is worth reading. If you are interested in the history of the media business from the 1960's on, particularly in the creation of cable, you will be interested. If you are interested in entrepreneurial stories in general, I think this will be rewarding. And I think along the way you will get interested in Turner as a person as well.

I zipped through it in two nights (not because it was short but because I was interested).

If I could change the book at all I might have had him pause more and explain at greater length some of his transitions from conservative to liberal and from Christian to agnostic. That would have been interesting but I think he wanted to focus on the business stuff, which I suppose is smart.
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Format: Hardcover
Fast-paced, action-packed and with nary a dull moment, the autobiography of legendary Ted Turner is as sharp as a tack and brimming with energy as the author himself. Sprinkled with short snippets of others who have known Ted, make for a well-rounded account of the candid, humble, honest, interesting, inspirational, unconventional, playful, spontaneous, multi-faceted, personable and totally transparent person he is.

As one of the quickest and most brilliant minds of our times, not finishing college did not impede Ted from becoming a billionaire or making major contributions to the world. In his life's story, the reader gets to see a portion of the different approaches he took and the creatively ingenious solutions to roadblocks or bumps encountered.

Some of the highlights covered are: In spite of nay-sayers, Ted launched CNN, the only 24/7 news network at the time after branching out from his early billboard business to his own television station which contained only positive programming. As a master sailor, Ted won the America's Cup as well as coming in 1st place in the European's Fastnet races and was named Yachtsman of the Year on four occasions before retiring from the competition of the sport. He bought NBA's Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves, being the first person ever to win both an American Cup and the World Series trophy. When the Soviet Union and America boycotted the Olympic Games, Ted put together the Goodwill Games, losing $100 million but considering the cost well worth the resulting movement toward peace in such a major way.
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