The Snowball

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 2008 - BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY - 960 pages
441 Reviews
Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.”

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.”

When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
154
4 stars
167
3 stars
83
2 stars
26
1 star
11

An interesting, well researched and thorough book. - Goodreads
But there was not enough storytelling. - Goodreads
Great writing, a fascinating story. - Goodreads
Too long, but good insights - Goodreads
Loved it, Schroeder is a great writer. - Goodreads
Good read, just an intro to investing mentality. - Goodreads

Review: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

User Review  - Gabriel Pinkus - Goodreads

Simply my favorite book. I read this book when I'm stressed out about anything. I'm on my third read right now. For me it's a calming and soothing thing to do to read this wonderful book. It's more ... Read full review

Review: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

User Review  - Tom Lindsey - Goodreads

This book is so good. This is another one of many books that point out that genius begins early and develops over a long time. Warren was out selling gum and Coke to neighbors at age 6. I was ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Author Alice Schroeder was a noted insurance industry analyst and writer who was a managing director at Morgan Stanley. She first met Warren Buffett when she published research on Berkshire Hathaway; her grasp of the subject and insight so impressed him that he offered her access to his files and to himself. Their friendship and mutual respect make her ideally positioned to write the The Snowball.

Ms. Schroeder was born in Texas, and she earned an undergraduate degree and her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin before moving east to work in finance. She is a former CPA and lives in Connecticut with her husband.

Bibliographic information