The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Front Cover
Bantam Books, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 816 pages
442 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, asThe Snowballmakes 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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5 stars
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3 stars
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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

Contents

The Less Flattering Version
3
Creatures of Habit
23
Warren Whats Wrong?
30
The Bathtub Steeplechase
41
Armistice Day
49
A Thousand Ways
55
Inky Fingers
62
l0 True Crime Stories
80
The Giant
342
How Not to Run a Public Library
356
And Then What?
374
Blue Ribbon
390
lAll FlE The lingofall Street
405
Rose
418
Call the Tow Truck
429
Rubicon
436

Silent Sales
88
l3 The Rules of the Racetraek
97
The Interview
113
Mount Everest
126
Miss Nebraska
136
Stage Fright
146
GrahamNewman 159
158
The Side to Play
170
Hidden Splendor
178
The Omaha Club
197
The Locomotive
203
The Windmill War
213
Haystacks of Gold
217
Folly
229
Dry Tinder
242
What a Worsted ls
250
jet jack
256
3 The ScalTold Sways the Future
264
Easy Safe Profitable and Pleasant
271
The Unwinding
281
PART l0 L R ISusie Sings
293
The Sim
306
Two Drowned Rats
316
Newshound
323
Spaghetti Western
332
VVhite Nights
458
ThumbSucking and Its HollowChecked Result
473
The Angry Gods
505
The Lottery
521
To Hell with the Bear
540
Chickenfeed
554
PART S I X Claim Checks
569
Semicolon
573
The Last Kay Party
582
By the Rich for the Rich
589
Oracle
601
Butfetted
615
Winter
624
Frozen Coke
629
The Seventh Fire
639
Claim Checks
654
The Crisis
671
The Snowball
702
Notes
709
A Personal Note About Research 787
786
Photo Credits and Permissions
789
Acknowledgments
791
Index 795
794
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

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 theThe 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

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