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By Way of Luck Hardcover – June 6, 2015
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Lucky? No way. Jim Perkins fascinating, delightfully crafted odyssey makes it clear, in fact, that it s his extraordinary imagination, creativity and vision, not to mention his mastery of the language, that can transform a tale of luck into an endlessly surprising and always engaging read. --Joe Mathewson, Journalism Teacher, Northwestern University; author, The Supreme Court and the Press: The Indispensable Conflict
While Jim Perkins credits his livelihood to good fortune...that isn t the whole story. A reader will learn from the stories he tells that when you re alert to life s possibilities; are willing to take risks; and are resilient when setbacks occur; success happens. An invigorating book. --Jean A. Mansavage, Ph.D., historian, U.S. Air Force Historical Studies Office; author, Natural Defense.
A bravura performance. By Way of Luck far surpasses most of the breed. Perkins is a natural story teller. His voice comes through in both the flow of the narrative and its peopling with characters vividly drawn. For the reader who knows the territory he covers, this is valuable stuff, with a significant lesson imparted: Namely, danger awaits any firm that stubbornly maintains its corporate culture in the face of change. --Donald S. Lamm, retired Chairman, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, W.W. Norton & Company, publishers
About the Author
Writing By Way of Luck would be a struggle, author Jim Perkins knew. The baring of little known tales of celebrated friends and business colleagues as well as of himself he saw as a daunting if not self-serving task. Finally, at the urging of admirers aware of his truly inventive career, coursing from editing to publishing to advertising and over the last 35 years to the evolution of electronic media, he relented. How could I say no? he asked. I m a media wonk. I write. I edit. I produce, I promote. It s what I ve always done. Why not write about the people and places I know best, however revealing the stories may be? Jim s influence is today commonly seen in the blossoming of on-line shopping and the transition of delivering voice and data communications from wire hung on telephone poles to multi-use, wireless, hand-held, digital devices. Yet the most extraordinary story of all is how his commitment to the outdoors and the environment, by luck alone, led him to initiate a land, water and wildlife conservation program that today encompasses more than thirty million acres of public lands in the United States. With his wife Judith, Jim lives in rural Connecticut where he has notably taken on land issues, water issues, Native American issues, and uncategorized environmental issues arising from public indifference and neglect. On climate change, he says, getting your arms around the issue is impossible for an individual. But if each of us tends to our own backyard, as neighbors and concerned citizens collectively we can have a positive effect on our shared environment. His successes, he says, are satisfying. Jim is an alumnus of Dartmouth College and of the United States Air Force, the two institutions giving definition to his life and to the importance of family.
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Top customer reviews
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Jim Perkins seems to have led an action packed life where business is concerned, and has met all kinds of people. I’m not so sure that ‘Luck’ was the right title for the book, as he certainly seemed to have worked his butt off in all the dozens of posts he had – and many times luck didn’t seem to go his way.
He was clearly an engaging man with many friends, and this book is both an interesting document of its time and a testament to what one man’s energy and application can do.
From the opening chapter, where celebrity movie star John Wayne invites the author out for drinks, this story reaches out and grips the reader. In a simple and straightforward way, the author reflects on his life, the choices he's made, and the incredible journey those decisions have taken him on.
Whether it was his off-handed remark that led to the conservation of 30 million acres of US public lands or his later pursuit of starting the Home Shopping Network, the impact of Jim's life on our society and culture is far-reaching.
While Jim is a client of mine, it's actually very rare for me to leave reviews on clients' books. However, this particular title has something for everyone, I believe. He has rubbed elbows with celebrities and corporate bigwigs, scoundrels and heroes. His military service and journalism/publishing careers each offer their own tales as well. Jim's conservation efforts and his uncanny ability to turn around floundering businesses draw in an even wider readership.
If any of these topics are of interest to you, you'll find this book incredibly difficult to put down. I highly recommend it!