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Branson: Behind the Mask

Branson: Behind the Mask [Kindle Edition]

Tom Bower
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Product Description


I think all journalists would benefit from reading Branson: Behind the Mask... Bower paints Branson as a showman who often fails to live up to his promises. (Roy Greenslade Guardian)

The book is subtitled Behind the Mask. Like in The Wizard of Oz, Bower is suggesting that behind the mask is nothing but a flim-flam merchant selling fantasies. (Nicholas Blincoe Daily Telegraph)

Nuggets of pure gold from original reporting. (Dominic O'Connell Sunday Times)


'Way more spicy than the usual corporate arse-lick'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1650 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non Fiction (27 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HXZU5S2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 2 Oct 2001
There is part of me that is upset at the details revealed in this book (like finding out that Father Christmas isn't real!) but there is also a part that finally understands why the daily commute into London with Virgin trains is such a pain!
Having read "Losing my viginity", "The Virgin King" and "Dirty Tricks", it was nice to see some balance added to the Richard Branson myth! The authorised books obviously record the story from Richard's perspective and Tom Bower delves behind the hyperbole to uncover an fascinating view of the Virgin empire.
I was already a fan of Tom Bower's work - once again he has produced a highly readable, interesting book. Superb!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling 31 Jan 2014
Just bought the new Branson biography and I'm half-way through. So far, it's a fascinating page-turner packed with inside detail on the real manoeuvres that went on behind the scenes of well-known events. It's actually quite thrilling to ride along with Branson as he skates through billion-dollar deals by the seat of his pants!

This is really a sequel to Bower's first biography, so some of the background details of Branson's early career are referred to in brief detail and I'm not sure I would have made a lot of sense of them if I hadn't read the first one. But I'm not sure that matters - the focus here is on the rollercoaster ride of the last ten years or so and it does a great job of balancing the financial detail of his business dealings against the human drama to give you an insight into the real man, behind the slick marketing image.

Thoroughly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deflating the Branson hype 12 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Bower's first book on Branson and often wondered where things would go after Branson seemed to panic when it looked like he had lost the West Coast rail franchise. The book answers or at least speculates on many of the answers including Branson's failed entry into Formula 1 and the ever-running saga of Branson's long awaited, and seemingly unlikely attempts to get a craft into sub orbit for a few minutes whilst still taking bookings and huge sums of money from aspiring spacemen ....Bowrer's legal team were undoubtedly busy checking this book over . Would highly reccomend as it makes a fascinating read.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a strange review because I'm not enjoying reading the book overall but i would recommend buying it. Reason i'm not enjoying the book is because the first chunk of the book just rambles about a rocket that exploded and the legal actions and complications of the rocket exploding, nothing really about business or even virgin. I even checked a few times that i was in fact reading the correct book. It went on and on about this rocket explosion and legal side of what happened in extreme detail. I started to think this book was written by some one involved in some legal battle against virgin and was using this book as a way of making public knowledge of the incident as i couldn't see any relevance what so ever

On top of that, the writer is purely very negative in a unfair way towards Branson/virgin which is to be expected to a certain degree given the title but a lot of the time i felt like the writer doesn't under the concept of being an entrepreneur as he was always trying to make out that Branson was a failure but, making a profit or a loss, how can you say a man is a failure when most of us could never even start an airline, ever or most of the businesses Branson started so i thought it was strange that the writer wanted to paint Branson as a failure when clearly he is not even if he has had more failures than success (welcome to the world of entrepreneurship Mr.Bower). The book is strongly focused on the negative side of Richard Branson but to a point when it becomes just pure opinion.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is an excellent book to read if you want an alternative profile of RB rather than accepting the one portrayed in the popular media. Amazing detail of conversations and Virgin businesses.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives you Stereo Vision 17 Oct 2009
I read this book and found it informative, well researched and very readable. Im sure that Branson isnt an angel but the reason I liked this book is because it gives you the alternative picture of the man as against the media image created by the PR and spin machine. When you have read this book then you can judge the man from a more informed perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Or maybe he has (I bought it a long time ago, only just got round to writing a review). If, like me, you'd always thought there was something dodgy about Richard Branson, this book will confirm your suspicions. Tom Bower did a nice hatchet job on Robert Maxwell, and he's done another one on Branson. If you just want to know the dirt, you can Google Branson and get the full SP in a few pages. But Tom Bower has a good writing style, and a book is a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Company politics 26 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A startling account. I only gave it 3 stars because it could have been much better organised and it's a little turgid in places. I suppose the contents must be true because this book, to my knowledge, has not publicly attracted the attention of our learned friends. I suspect the dream of Virgin Galactic may end in a smoking crater in the Mojave but we will see.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 days ago by lowepeter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bower does what he is good at: demolishing a phoney. See Bower's biography of Gordon Brown - wow!
Published 1 month ago by John Shires
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account
Balanced, informative and at times shocking account of Richard Branson and his grasshopper-brained tendency to piggyback existing successful business models with pr and a studious... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roland Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest Trading?
Tom Bower is always thorough detailed and interesting and this most recent work retains and maintains these qualities. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Trumpeter
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire!
Unless you have a trainspotter or even rocket spotter mentality, with a fascination with minute detail, I suggest you give this one a miss. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. M. Conner
2.0 out of 5 stars Behind The Demolition Job
Not knowing the author but a great fan of Richard Branson, I bought this book with great anticipation. The opening paragraphs did not disappoint. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Romeo S. Sia
5.0 out of 5 stars Opened my eyes
For years I wondered why TV satirists were so mean about Richard Branson. Was this just another example of the British 'tall poppy syndrome', hating success? Read more
Published 7 months ago by WontGetFooledAgain
5.0 out of 5 stars complete 100% Rubbish
why people who have achieved noting in there own lives go out and write stupid books about successful people is behind me, uses bransons name to sell the book
Published 7 months ago by DIY expert
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
If you've ever been sucked in by the Branson myth like I have, then this is essential reading. I still hugely admire Branson and what he's achieved and I think he's done more to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by neilmk
4.0 out of 5 stars It's interesting, but almost getting towards bitchy
I read Bower's previous book "Branson" some time ago, and on seeing this new book was interested to read it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Pete Storey
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