- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Quercus Publishing (November 6, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847246141
- ISBN-13: 978-1847246141
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 10.8 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,259,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Companies That Changed the World Hardcover – November 6, 2008
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Jonathan Mantle is the author of the best-selling For Whom the Bell Tolls: Lessons of Lloyd's of London, Benetton: The Family, the Business and the Brand, as well as biographies of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeffrey Archer. He lives in London.
Top customer reviews
The success stories are not always the product of great vision: sometimes they occur by accident, as in the case of Thomas Cook, the Baptist minister who started organizing weekend train journeys in Leicester as a way of combatting intemperance and ended up the head of a global company that effectively invented tourism. Or the Amsterdam Exchange Bank, which began taking deposits of gold and silver, giving receipts in exchange, and in the process created the global monetary system. Some, like the profile of CNN, portray a determined pioneer like Ted Turner, who believed there was a market for a news network that did not depend on people getting home from work in time to watch the six o'clock news. Throughout, the book is sprinkled with entertaining details about the founders, such as Isaac Singer, inventor of the Singer sewing machine, who had nearly as many wives as inventions, or Anita Roddick, the ex-hippie whose stint as a flower child in San Francisco gave her the idea to found the Body Shop, whose concept of all natural products and ethical capitalism took the world by storm. We learn of Baron Bich, the Duponts, the global success of Wonderbra, the origins of Microsoft, Apple and Levi Strauss. Along the way we learn the stories of Toyota, Volkswagen, Sony, Swatch and a host of others, including the Al Jazeera network. There will inevitably be debates about which companies should have been included and weren't.
All this is delivered more with a journalist's flair than an accountant's pencil, but who cares? When you're changing the world, let someone else dot the "i's" and cross the "t's". Mantle's book is admirably illustrated with photos, designs and illustrations, unfortunately only in black and white. It's ideal reading for the train or plane, filled as it is with bite-sized delicacies -- and would go well under the Christmas tree. Let's just hope it is soon to be followed by a second book -- "Fifty More Companies that Changed the World", which will include all the ones I wish had been there and weren't. But that is just wishful thinking.