Circle of Greed: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Lawyer Who Brought Corporate America to Its Knees

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Circle of Greed is the epic story of the rise and fall of Bill Lerach, once the leading class action lawyer in America and now a convicted felon.  For more than two decades, Lerach threatened, shook down and sued top Fortune 500 companies, including Disney, Apple, Time Warner, and—most famously—Enron.  Now, the man who brought corporate moguls to their knees has fallen prey to the same corrupt impulses of his enemies, and is paying the price by serving time in federal prison.       
If there was ever a modern Greek tragedy about a man and his times, about corporate arrogance and illusions and the scorched-earth tactics to not only counteract corporate America but to beat it at its own game, Bill Lerach's story is it.
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About the author

Patrick Dillon has won many journalism awards including a share of the Pulitzer Prize- and is the author of the acclaimed Lost at Sea.  The executive editor of California magazine, he was formerly editor in chief of Forbes ASAP, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor, and an editor and columnist at the San Jose Mercury News.  He lives in San Francisco, California.
Carl M. Cannon is the deputy editor of politicsdaily.com and coauthor of Reagan's Disciple: George W. Bush's Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy.  He has won numerous awards, including a share of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989, and the prestigious Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting of the Presidency.  He lives in Arlington, Virginia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Mar 2, 2010
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Pages
544
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ISBN
9780307589170
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Business Law
History / United States / 21st Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The name Hershey evokes many things: chocolate bars, the company town in Pennsylvania, one of America's most recognizable brands. But who was the man behind the name? In this compelling biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael D'Antonio gives us the real-life rags-to-riches story of Milton S. Hershey, a largely uneducated businessman whose idealistic sense of purpose created an immense financial empire, a town, and a legacy that lasts to this day.

Hershey, the son of a minister's daughter and an irresponsible father who deserted the family, began his career inauspiciously when the two candy shops he opened both went bankrupt. Undeterred, he started the Lancaster Caramel Company, which brought him success at last. Eventually he sold his caramel operation and went on to perfect the production process of chocolate to create a stable, consistent bar with a long shelf life...and an American icon was born.

Hershey was more than a successful businessman -- he was a progressive thinker who believed in capitalism as a means to higher goals. He built the world's largest chocolate factory and a utopian village for his workers on a large tract of land in rural Pennsylvania, and used his own fortune to keep his workers employed during the Great Depression. In addition, he secretly willed his fortune to a boys' school and orphanage, both of which now control a vast endowment.

Extensively researched and vividly written, Hershey is the fascinating story of this uniquely American visionary.
In Everything Is Possible, Dan Abraham, the legendary founder of Slim-Fast, recounts the story of his personal and business life, starting from his childhood and army years and his purchase of Thompson Medical for $5,000 when he was in his early twenties, and culminating in the sale of Slim-Fast for $2.3 billion in 2000. At the heart of Everything Is Possible are 16 life lessons that Abraham has picked up in sixty years of a hard-working business career. Among them:There is no such thing as a mistake (see pages 198–202)Why I always insured that my suppliers made a profit (see pages 208–9)The philosophy of continuous improvement (see pages 202–5)If you have a theory and the facts dispute it, drop your theory (pages 205–8)The realization that we all have both good and bad luck in our lives, but many of us don't prepare for either (pages 216–9)I never saw a man pick a fight with a stronger man (pages 191–5)

But this memoir, a brilliant guide for anyone starting and growing a business, is about far more than business. Abraham tells the heartwarming story of growing up in a modest home in Long Beach, New York, and the lessons he learned from his mother, father, and one high school teacher that have guided him ever since. And there is more, much more: a discussion of his beliefs about the pleasure of giving; what he has learned from Judaism about ethics and the Golden Rule; and what he learned from his experiences with the FDA about the importance of compromise and about the necessity to fight hard when you believe you're right.

At a time, when newspapers are filled with reports of business fraud and deceptions, and when so many people believe that to have spectacular success in business you have to be ruthless and dishonest, this is an account of a business life that has been lived honorably, passionately, and successfully, and with fun. Everything Is Possible is a book to be savored and shared with young and old alike.

For readers of Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog and Howard Schultz’s Onward, an inspiring memoir from the CEO of DICK’s Sporting Goods about building a multibillion dollar business, coming to the defense of embattled youth sports programs, and taking a principled—and highly controversial—stand against the types of guns that are too often used in mass shootings and other tragedies.

In 1948, Ed Stack's father, Richard, started Dick’s Bait and Tackle in Binghamton, New York, with $300 borrowed from his grandmother. A few years later, Dick expanded to a second location. In 1984, Ed bought the two stores from his father. Today DICK’s Sporting Goods is the largest sporting goods retailer in the country with over 800 locations and close to $9 billion in sales.

It’s How We Play the Game tells the absorbing story of a complicated founder and an ambitious son—one who transformed a business by making it more than a business, conceiving it as a force for good in the communities it serves. The transformation Ed wrought wasn’t easy: economic headwinds nearly toppled the chain twice. But DICK’s support for embattled youth sports programs earned the stores surprising loyalty, and Ed was vocal in sounding the alarm about schools’ underfunding not just of sports but of other extracurriculars, which earned DICK’s even more respect.

Ed’s toughest business decision came in the wake of yet another school shooting; this one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. The senseless loss of life devastated Ed on many levels and he decided to take action. DICK’s became the first major retailer to pull all semi-automatic weapons from its shelves and raise the age of gun purchase to twenty-one. Despite being a gun owner himself who’d grown up around firearms, Ed’s strategy included destroying the $5 million of assault-style-type rifles then in DICK’s inventory.

It was a profit-risking policy that would earn the outrage of some—even threats of harm—but turn Ed into a national hero.

With vital lessons for anyone running a business and eye-opening reflections about what a company owes the people it serves, It’s How We Play the Game is the insightful story of a man who built one of America's most successful companies by following his heart.
**A Forbes Best Business Book of the Year, 2015**

**Winner of the 2015 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award in Entrepreneurship**

When columnist Paul Downs was approached by The New York Times to write for their “You’re the Boss” blog, he had been running his custom furniture business for twenty-four years strong. or mostly strong. Now, in his first book, Downs paints an honest portrait of a real business, with a real boss, a real set of employees, and the real challenges they face.
            Fresh out of college in 1986, Downs opened his first  business, a small company that builds custom furniture. In 1987, he hired his first employee. That’s when things got complicated. As his enterprise began to grow, he had to learn about management, cash flow, taxes, and so much more. But despite any obstacles, Downs always remained keenly aware that every small business, no matter the product it makes or the service it provides, starts with people. He writes with tremendous insight about hiring employees, providing motivation to get the best out of them, and the difficult decisions he’s made to let some of them go. Downs also looks outward, to his dealings with vendors and to providing each client with exemplary customer service from first sales pitch to final delivery. With honesty and conviction, he tells the true story behind building and sustaining a successful company in an ever-evolving economy, often airing his own failures and shortcomings to reveal the difficulties that arise from being a boss and a businessperson. Countless employees have told the story of their experience with managers—Boss Life tells the other side of that story.
A nonfiction legal thriller that traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history, Don Blankenship, to justice

Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America's electric power. But wealth and influence weren't enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company's mines—in which scores died unnecessarily.

As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens while he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal mining country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship's tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law.
The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it's true, it's scarier than fiction.

On the morning of February 3, 1983, the Americus and Altair, two state-of-the-art crabbing vessels, idled at the dock in their home port of Anacortes, Washington. On deck, the fourteen crewmen--fathers, sons, brothers and friends who'd known one another all their lives--prepared for the ten-day trip to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. From this rough-and-tumble seaport the men would begin a grueling three-month season in one of the nation's most profitable and deadliest occupations--fishing for crab in the notorious Bering Sea. Standing on the Anacortes dock that morning, the families and friends of the crew knew that in the wake of the previous year's multimillion-dollar losses, the pressure for this voyage was unusually intense.

Eleven days later, on Valentine's Day, the overturned hull of the Americus was found drifting in calm seas only twenty-five miles from Dutch Harbor, without a single distress call or trace of its seven-man crew. The Altair, its sister ship, had disappeared altogether; in the desperate search that followed, no evidence of the vessel or its crew would ever be found. The nature of the disaster--fourteen men and two vessels,apparently lost within hours of each other--made it the worst on record in the history of U.S. commercial fishing.

Delving into the mysterious tragedy of the Americus and Altair, acclaimed journalist Patrick Dillon vivifies the eighty-knot winds, subzero temperatures, and mountainous waves commercial fishermen fight daily to make their living, and illustrates the incredible rise of the Pacific Northwest's ocean frontier: from a father-and-son business to a dangerously competitive multibillion-dollar high-tech industry with one of the highest death rates in the nation. Here Dillon explores the lives the disaster left behind in Anacortes: the ambitious young entrepreneur who raised the top-notch fleet in a few short years, the guilt-ridden captains of the surviving sister boats, and the grief-numbed families of the crew. Tracing the two-year investigation launched by the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board, he brings to life a heated cast of opponents: ingenious scientists, defensive marine architects, blue-chip lawyers and wrangling politicians, all struggling to come to terms with the puzzling death of fourteen men at sea. And finally, in his evocation of one mother's crusade to pass the safety legislation that might save lives, Dillon creates a moving portrait of courage and love.
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