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Money Talks, Bullsh*t Walks: Inside the Contrarian Mind of Billionaire Mogul Sam Zell Hardcover – December 31, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Review



About the Author

Ben Johnson first encountered Sam Zell while leading two of the real estate industry’s most respected trade publications, National Real Estate Investor and Shopping Center World. He previously directed the custom publishing division at American Airlines, ran a division of real estate researcher CoStar Group, and was the director of marketing for Wells Real Estate Funds. He lives in Plano, Texas.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (December 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843009
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Colorful Book and Great Read. The author tells an interesting story about an interesting business person, Sam Zell. I have seen Mr. Zell on CNBC many times and found him very honest and straightforward; which are characteristics you do not often see with commentators on television. Agree or disagree with Mr. Zell, he is a fascinating business man and the author digs deeper into the story of his success. The author writes a frank and in some instants not so flattering account of Mr. Zell, but a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
Sam Zell is a memorable character who regularly spews out interesting quotes for reporters. Zell was able to create a massive business domain based on real estate before he took the fateful step of entering the media business by acquiring the Tribune Corporation.

However, this book misses the mark. While author Ben Johnson gets the details of the deals down pat, he fails to create a compelling portrait of the man himself. There is but little in this book about the private Zell, his thoughts or about his family. Johnson also fails to provide an examination of Zell's dealings and the way that he operates his businesses. Worse of all, Johnson's handling of the Tribune fiasco is poor and one wonders why he could not wait until its concluded before undertaking this book.

In sum, this book works both as a compendium of Zell's real estate transactions and as a treasury of Zell's most famous quotations. However, if you want to get past the gloss and into the substance, you have to wait for a future biographer to come along.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a significant amount about Sam Zell's history and his businesses, and I must say that this book misses the mark in nearly every category about Zell. Ben Johnson's writing style reminds me of a middle school student - short, descriptive sentences that really don't say anything at all. The book is filled with anecdotes and quotes that are really just fillers of space that don't provide any unique insights into Sam Zell's business philosophies. The most interesting part of the book is the first 60 pages - before the author begins the boring and relentless description of the Tribune acquisition. I've heard Zell speak multiple times, and I'm surprised he allowed this thing to get published, truly Zell should know garbage when he sees it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sam Zell has been doing deals for many decades and I'd be surprised if he hadn't done dozens of very large transactions. The book claims to be a tell-all about him - "inside the mind of Sam Zell" - yet most of the book is about just one transaction, the Tribune purchase. Pretty shortsighted examination of a major businessman.
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By Mln on June 9, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish author touched on why Zell did not buy distressed Tribune debt. Should have analyzed returns more, but a good read.
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