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A Life Worth Living: Michael Smurfit's Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Michael Smurfit
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.95
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Book Description

A Life Worth Living tells the story of Michael Smurfit and the company he built. From humble beginnings, through years of hard work, it documents the Smurfit Group’s seemingly inexorable growth, the challenges faced and overcome, and the many deals that continually doubled the size of the business every three or four years. It shows Michael’s ‘logical opportunism’ in action, and explains how the Smurfit culture and systems provided a world-beating competitive advantage.


Born in St Helens, Lancashire in August 1936, Michael Smurfit joined his father’s business, Jefferson Smurfit & Sons Ltd. in Dublin, straight from school to learn the papermaking business ‘from the bottom up’. Two years after the company floated on the Irish Stock Exchange, Michael and his brother Jeff became Joint Managing Directors, as Jefferson Senior took on the role of Chairman and Chief Executive. Then followed 30 years of acquisitions, as the Jefferson Smurfit Group became Ireland’s first multinational company and one of the largest paper and packaging companies in the world. In 2002, Michael took the Smurfit Group private, retiring as CEO but remaining Chairman. In this role, he steered a merger with Kappa Packaging BV, which successfully refloated in 2007 as Smurfit Kappa Group.


Michael’s life outside Smurfit – his chairmanship of the Racing Board and of Telecom Éireann; his interest in horseracing; his ownership of The K Club and the triumph that was the Ryder Cup 2006 – all feature, alongside his love and commitment to his family.


Truly, a life worth living.


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Review

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHYA Life Worth Living A Life Worth Living A LIFE WORTH LIVING is a page-turner - a fascinating story, just the present for one's favourite entrepreneur. The Market, Enterprise Ireland, Summer 2014 He is undoubtedly one of the greatest business leaders in Irish history, a superb deal-maker who has improved the lives of millions. - Smurfit provides chapter and verse on how he built up Ireland's first-ever multinational corporation. Andrew Lynch, The Sunday Business Post, 4 May 2014 - it should be required reading for any aspiring young business man or woman in Ireland. Sean Farrell, Irish Independent, 5 April 2014 The book gives many insights into the growth of the Smurfit Group's empire over the years, its roots, its key move into the US, where it was taken private, and the subsequent float as Smurfit Kappa. Ex Post Facto, The Sunday Business Post, 6 April 2014 In the book, he shows his 'logical opportunism' in action and explains how the Smurfit culture and systems provided a world-beating competitive advantage. Social & Personal, May 2014 Was Michael Smurfit Ireland's greatest businessman of the last century? There are certainly very few like him, or even close. Tom Lyons, The Irish Times, 3 April 2014

About the Author

Born in St Helens, Lancashire in August 1936, Michael Smurfit joined his father's business, Jefferson Smurfit & Sons Ltd. in Dublin, straight from school to learn the papermaking business 'from the bottom up'. Two years after the company floated on the Irish Stock Exchange, Michael and his brother Jeff became Joint Managing Directors, as Jefferson Senior took on the role of Chairman and Chief Executive. Then followed 30 years of acquistions, as the Jefferson Smurfit Group became Ireland's first multinational company and one of the largest paper and packaging companies in the world. In 2002, Michael took the Smurfit Group private, retiring as CEO but remaining Chairman. In this role, he steered a merger with Kappa Packaging BV, which successfully refloated in 2007 as Smurfit Kappa Group.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3483 KB
  • Print Length: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Oak Tree Press (4 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JDLA69M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Well Written 18 Oct. 2014
By kencoo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr Smurfit is one of the most successful businessmen of our generation, turning what seems to have been a SME in 50s/60s into a large successful multinational generating billions $ every year by 90s. He is also hugely accomplished in other areas too including bring the Ryder Cup to Ireland, UCD Business school to name but a few. He is a person to be greatly admired.

Nevertheless this book will not stand side by side with his other achievements. Its poorly written in parts, almost like a kid had a hand in its drafting - its repetitive also using the same phrases and quotes throughout. It also includes anecdotes which seem to be dropped in at odd places to prove a point or a theme but actually add to its clunkyness.

Overall it could have achieved a lot more and has a feel of a rushed exercise. Disappointing as I expected it to be better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Unexamined Life 1 Sept. 2014
Format:Hardcover
One way of writing an autobiography is to get all your friends and associates to send you letters of praise - and then publish long passages from their replies. This saves you some of the embarrassment of singing your own praises and also gets you through quite a lot of pages.

They say the unexamined life is not worth living, but Michael Smurfit is not into self-examination. In his description of his own life, weaknesses (which we all have) and failures (which we all experience) put in no appearance. This guy presents himself as the born successful entrepreneur, one who, after a hesitant start, never ever got it wrong... Really? His self-hagiography is more than a little embarrassing. He tells us proudly of his enormous self-modesty, for instance, he is surely the greatest man in the world for modesty...

Obviously, a bit of humour and self-irony would have done the book good, would have made the figure of Smurfit come alive, rather than being just a figure cut out from Smurfit cardboard; but humour and irony are not Michael's fortes. It would also have been interesting to see where his enormous craving for recognition came from, surely a product of extreme insecurity? Was it the shadow of his father? Or the severe illness he suffered as a young man? Or his lack of educational finish? Or was there something else altogether, something he doesn't tell us about? I rather suspect it. And why does he tell us virtually nothing of his family life, apart from brief mentions of skiing trips and so on? His first marriage (and divorce) do get some space but not what he subsequently went through. Could it be that he didn't actually have much of a family life?

But the fact that this is not a great book doesn't detract from the great story he has to tell.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An arrogant life !! 28 April 2014
By Jainoo
Format:Kindle Edition
Pompous and self fulfilling without any touch of humility or modesty. What a great Guy I am and look at what I have achieved by myself !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very egotistical book, did not enjoy it. The history of the group is interesting but the writing style is awful
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic read about business and life 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fantastic book and a wonderful insight into the Smurfit empire from its humble beginnings all the way through to the end. Very interesting take on business and the dedication shown by one man. Must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 28 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A well written and very informative book
Very strong on the importance of company values and how to strike the right deal without compromising your values
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In our unrelenting pursuit of excellence, humility and humour are virtues indispensable in every day life. And the best way to predict one's future is to shape it, and Michael did just that by outlining his strategy and leaving the tactics to his knowledgeable and incisive field commanders; for knowledge and possession of information are vital for the creation of wealth and ongoing success cannot be achieved except by incessant intellectual labour. Ultimately, happiness is what success is all about and happiness makes one's life worth living. "J’ai décidé d’être heureux parce que c’est bon pour la santé!" "Who does not Love Wine Women & Song will be a Fool for his Lifelong!" according to Martin Luther, it may well be attributed to Michael who to have remained young while growing old is truly the highest blessing.
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