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Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Hardcover – April 17, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Iacocca, the bestselling author and former president of Ford and Chrysler, is back to sound a howl of anger against the sad state of leadership in the U.S. today. Iacocca starts with a rundown of sins committed by George W. Bush and his administration, and then moves on to criticize the American auto industry-naturally, he's furious over over the sale of Chrysler to Daimler-Benz. Along the way, Iacocca rails against the lack of leadership in vital national concerns such as health care, open markets and energy policy. Iacocca may not have a whole lot new to say, but he is always engaging, even when spinning his wheels over the current crop of presidential hopefuls or recommending that Congress take a year off from enacting laws or spending money. The book's strength lies in Iacocca's emotional honesty, which shines when he details the reasons he passed on a Presidential run, how he felt when his wife died and his frustration at the poor decisions he's made during his retirement (fessing up to voting for Bush in 2000 and handpicking the executive who sold Chrysler to the Germans). Iacocca is a genial person to spend time with, but his insights no longer carry the weight that made his autobiography, Iacocca, a runaway bestseller.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Iacocca is outraged. Now 82, he has seen the U.S. overcome some of its worst crises, including the Great Depression and World War II, through great leadership. As the CEO of Chrysler Corporation, he brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy and worked with the government to overcome the fallout from the 1970s oil crisis. Now, he says, our government has fallen under the grip of arrogant ideologues and spineless detractors. Our business leaders are more obsessed with stock options and trumping each other's multimillion-dollar salaries than with finding creative solutions to pressing problems, such as the health-care crisis, our loss of competitive edge in the global marketplace, the massive trade deficit, and the slow death of the middle class. He describes his frustration as his successor at Chrysler sold out to Daimler-Benz, and the once proud, independent company lost its soul. Although Iacocca presents a brutal analysis of cronyism in Washington, D.C., the abysmal situation in Iraq, and failed policies at home, he is not a pessimist. With a reputation as a straight shooter, he hopes to inspire more young people to vote. This is a surprisingly outspoken take on the pressing need for real leadership in this country. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Of what he has to say, we have heard it all from the Democrat slander machine and their servants the main stream press during the last presidential election, and had it renewed during the 2006 mid term election. You would expect that Iaccoca would give some fresh personal perspective, but he doesn't. You hope that he would present a vision for moving forward, but all he does is invite you to be mad... that Democrats haven't been assertive enough.
The pretense that he also scrutinises and critiques the leading presidential candidates is a sham. All Democrats are good in essence, all Republicans - not so good, mere puppets.
The most ridiculous aspect of this collection of regurgitated Democrat talking points is that Iaccoca pretends to have left Political Correctness at the door, and gives it to you straight - and here he succeeds only in embarassing hypocrisy. The fact that he camouflages his cussing does not make him a credible political analyst.
Iacocca should've titled this book "I'm a grumpy old man". The entire book is filled with an "everybody in government sucks, especially the Bush Administration" mentality--while he quips that he's not really "partisan". OK...whatever, Mr. "I campaigned for John Kerry". The language and tone he uses, while not necessarily "R-rated", is not fitting for someone talking about 'leadership'-- it's more like the old drunk at the local bar who's had a bottle too many. Like any other delirious ranting lunatic, he constantly contradicts himself with opposing examples, while refuting himself and using every logical fallacy that a basic philosophy student would easily spot to use as his arguing points.
His 'rage' is equivalent to someone like Ann Coulter--but at least she has a point (whether you agree or not with her) with some sort of data to back up her arguments. Iacocca just keeps employing the "what the hell are these people doing?" summary to everything he brings up... hardly convincing.
For someone who's "leadership" was so great that he went to the federal government with hat in hand for a $1 billion+ bailout while still laying off a good chunk of Chrysler's workforce, I really have a hard time listening to his 'astute' characterizations he has about any of the political figures he rants about in both major parties.
Save your money; I bought this on the Kindle...but even at $9.99...it's still a colossal waste.
This book is part rant. If you want to read Lee Iacocca's rants about his view of leadership in the US, the sins of the current administration, or about how young people can't be ripped away from their iPods long enough to show concern about anything, this is the book for you.
The book is part memoir. When Iacocca is making observations on the auto business, or sharing stories from the time when he as active as a senior executive and CEO, he's both interesting and credible.
For me this was the most interesting part of the book and the part that had the most original material. But most of the authors experiences are over a decade old and I found the memoir to be mostly the "we had it tougher in my day and we did a whole lot better" variety.
This book is part business advice. It's good advice, but it's not original or even well and thoroughly reasoned.
I buy business books to learn something about business that will be helpful to me or my clients. There's not enough of that in this book to justify the purchase price.