One of the most famous influential and effective businessmen about best books that have helped him.
“Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West” by Stephen Ambrose
While every American schoolchild has heard about Lewis and Clark’s expedition across the United States, few grownups know the more fascinating details of how the West was explored – before it was won. For instance, history book aficionados might not remember that President Jefferson’s secretary was none other than Meriweather Lewis, who fell from hero status in the world of politics for discovering a lack of projected waterways. Neither Sacajawea’s role nor the main obstacles to pre-automobile travel (weather and insects) are ignored, nor Lewis’ debt-inspired turn to alcohol. Dale Walker of Historynet.com declares this book list addition to be better than the work of Richard Dillon.
“A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson
This new edition of one of the best history books is lavishly illustrated to convey, in pictures as in words, Bill Bryson’s exciting, informative journey into the world of science. In A Short History of Nearly Everything, beloved author Bill Bryson confronts his greatest challenge yet: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as his territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. The result is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it.
“Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond
The phenomenal bestseller; over 1.5 million copies sold; is now a major PBS special.
This book has a truly universal appeal. College students should add it to their summer reading list program, if applying to technology institutes such as ITT or Devry. History students can amaze their teachers by the addition of quotes to their AP papers. Fans of Bill Gates can read Diamond’s work, and understand why it was praised so highly by the founder of Microsoft. Essentially, Diamond points out that some societies rise and fall based on the role of environmental opportunities and damage, and technology. Budding politicians can begin an educated debate based on whether or not Diamond is secretly promoting a perspective of Caucasian dominance.
“Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Springfield, the home of fictional character Bart Simpson, was first known as the proving ground of Abraham Lincoln. For 25 years, he had labored to rise from a lack of means (he arrived on a borrowed horse) to a place of prominence. In an unusual twist, Goodwins’ book outlines the role of Lincoln’s friends, from a 300-pound judge to the future President’s loyal legal partner. It also describes vignettes of days gone by, from circuit-riding attorneys to the birthing groans of the anti-slavery Republican Party. This 10-week addition to the New York Times bestselling book list should be added to any serious history student’s reading list.
“Jack: Straight from the Gut” Jack Welch
Also recommended by Warren Buffett
From layoffs to glory, Jack Welch tells his story of how General Electric went from the bottom of the stock pile to an investment worth having. Management tips are woven into personal stories about good and bad decisions with continual ripple effects, such as the Crotonville training center that moved students along the tiers of upper management. Welch puts feet on some of Peter Drucker’s favorite list of ideas, including the necessity of change and the need to build a corporation with the right people, instead of on the backs of people while bilking the customer. This business book has been included on business reading lists, from Hampden-Sydney College to Warren Buffet’s favorites of 2010.
“Only the Paranoid Survive” by Andrew S. Grove
Also recommended by Steve Jobs
According to the Wall Street Journal, this book is one of coach Jim Harbaugh’s favorite manuals for his football team, the San Francisco 49ers. As CEO, Grove steered Intel toward its status as top creator of computer chips that control our digital world, qualifying him to speak about the necessity of adaptation to instant corporate change. The milestones of change contain an instructive pattern, and Grove uses some of Intel’s challenges (such as the Pentium processor flaw) to show what worked in keeping slightly ahead of Internet expansion: debate, anticipation of change, and seeking answers beyond the job title. Andy Grove currently holds an advisory position at Intel, and helps teach a business seminar at Stanford’s School of Business.
“Sam Walton: Made In America” by Sam Walton
Also recommended by Warren Buffett
After entering into a battle with cancer, Sam Walton decided to outline the shaky beginnings and roller-coaster ride of Wal-Mart. The result is a zany blend of common-sense tips, quotable aphorisms, and true stories that outdo fiction by a long shot. Not surprisingly, the founder’s odyssey is featured on Wal-Mart reading lists, as well as those of contributors to the Motley Fool (such as Jeremy MacNealy) and 800-CEO-Read. Walton is unapologetic about both his mistakes and his successes, and includes equal-time stories about zealous managers who moved at the drop of a hat to further the breakneck speed of grand openings across the United States.
“Life Is What You Make It” by Peter Buffett
Also recommended by Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, mentioned in Books That Inspire CNN Founder Ted Turner
Though the author bears such famous last name, Buffet, he claims that he hasn´t inherited much from his parents, concerning materialistic issues. He was gifted with a family philosophy: “Everybody must find his own way in this life”. This warm, mind broadening, and inspirational book asks every reader, what will he choose: the way of least resistance or the way greatest satisfaction? In some sense this is the life story of Peter Buffet himself.
>”Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham
Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Whitney Tilson
The logic of buying undervalued securities is laid bare in this 1930’s classic. It has ended up on a JP Morgan summer reading list for private bankers, while the real-life examples make this book accessible to more experienced individual investors. Other topics covered include the importance of dividends and diversity within the portfolio. Though this book is most known for being on the favorite list of Warren Buffet, who called it his “Bible”, it has also shown up on the favorite reading list of investments author Whitney Tilson, and billionaire Bill Ackman.
“The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham
Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Whitney Tilson, Kevin Rose
If investors are intimidated by Graham’s prior groundbreaking work, “Security Analysis”, this book makes a good introduction to the difference between making investments and capitalizing on speculation – a risky business. Another favorite book of Warren Buffet’s (who wrote the introduction), it covers emotional decision-making versus rational analysis of markets and their fluctuations. Forbes magazine author Jason Zweig also counts it at the top of his favorite book list, calling it “prophetic”. Graham’s own history as a survivor of the Great Depression stock crash, and master of detailed company research yielding 14% annual returns, qualifies him to mentor others down the investment path.