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19 Reviews
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screw them, lets do it: Richards adventures in Blunderland
Entertaining expose of Richard Bransons business career. The book isnt particularly well written but highlights the hypocrisy of the ubiquitous Richard Branson frequently voted top of the business pops. Branson comes across as a puerile, opportunistic, astonishingly crass and unpleasant man.

His main sources of profit would appear to be when he has nestled...
Published on 21 Dec. 2008 by S Wood

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well-researched but negative agenda
Incredibly detailed analysis. However I feel that the author kind of spoils it by being so hostile to Branson throughout. This not only becomes a little wearing, but also undermines the analysis in that it would be more effective to let the facts speak for themselves. If the author has come to his judgement on Branson after looking into the facts, then he should have...
Published on 11 July 2010 by Study Shortcuts and Exam Tips ...


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Screw them, lets do it: Richards adventures in Blunderland, 21 Dec. 2008
By 
S Wood (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
Entertaining expose of Richard Bransons business career. The book isnt particularly well written but highlights the hypocrisy of the ubiquitous Richard Branson frequently voted top of the business pops. Branson comes across as a puerile, opportunistic, astonishingly crass and unpleasant man.

His main sources of profit would appear to be when he has nestled himself under the protective wings of the state, his airlines (having a dual monopoly on flights to america with BA from heathrow) and trains (having monopolys on various travel routes). He has milked money from both of those ventures and insufficiently carefull partners (who he seems to serially latch onto and suck dry at a phenomenal rate) to finance an extraordinary number of business ventures that have fallen rather flat while he stashes money away into offshore accounts. The news industry plays a bit part in this pretty sordid story, the amount of free publicity and boosting he has recieved from compliant journalists and media organisations probably runs into hundreds of millions of pounds.

Worth buying for the picture of a rather battered Branson dangling on a bungee rope after colliding with a hotel wall on one of his numerous publicity stunts. Well worth reading.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you admired Branson once, read this, it'll change your mind!, 3 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
Essential reading, Bower reveals the dark side of a chancer who's conned his way into becoming the Nation's favourite tycoon. I'd gained insights and heard tales over the last thirty odd years but Tom Bower exposes the truths to flesh in the details of the skeleton's in Branson's closet.

This book is as gripping as his works on Fayed, Tiny Rowland and Conrad Black, and Bower succeeds in reminding us mere mortals that to get to the top it's a given that selfish, greedy, lying, dishonest, unscrupulous and odious behaviour is the order of the day...delicious reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is a fascinating read, Bower has attempted to ..., 18 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Branson (Kindle Edition)
This is a fascinating read, Bower has attempted to present Branson as a business tycoon stripped of all the media hype. What's left really leaves little to be admired. Of course some of the books source is fact, other information is gleaned from those who have suffered after failed business relationships. Virgin Galactic is particularly poignant. A major disaster with an engine test in 2007 and unknown to the author, the disaster of 2014. Eight years on those who paid 200k await their experience. The tax payer has enriched Branston whether by subsidy in his rail business or by his acquisition of businesses below market values. He owns few businesses today and struggles to operate Virgin Atlantic at a profit. I think his commercial acumen is tarnished and the book fairly demonstrates that involvement with Branston is a dangerous game.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly deft and entertaining, 30 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Branson (Kindle Edition)
Fabulous, ground-breaking and shocking. There's a reason why Branson was unable to sue the author and suppress the inevitable damage to his carefully crafted public image: what's here is completely, incontrovertibly true.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Tom Bower, 22 Aug. 2009
By 
F. G. Lelliott (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
Having read Broken Dreams, Tom Bower's riveting read on the corrupt world of football transfers, it was the combination of author and subject matter that interested me in this book, and what a book!
I have to confess to being somewhat blinded by the Branson propaganda machine over the years, and readily accepted Branson's self-proclaimed title of "the people's champion".
Those who see this book as a petty, vindictive attack on Branson miss the point, Tom Bower has gone beyond the superficial and looked closely at Branson's life, his business deals and compared them objectively with his contemporaries. It is fair to say that, once the hype and spin are stripped away, Branson's achievements seem somewhat tarnished.
His bitter battle to break BA's 'monopoly' whilst at the same time opposing an 'open skies' policy, his talk of saving the planet whilst operating out-dated, fuel-hungry transatlantic planes and promoting 'space tourism', and his claim to give all profit to the National Lottery whilst levying a huge 'administration' fee, which would have meant less money for charity than Camelot would raise are just some of the examples of the chasm between statement and action.
I can see why Branson is so appalled by this book, it carefully pick apart a reputation build up over the years and lays bare the true nature of "the people's champion".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 4 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
Well-packaged, and delivered promptly
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, 20 Aug. 2009
By 
Kelkoozee (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
This is the best Branson story in my view. His own books gloss over too much of his life events but with Bower's book I enjoyed getting the nitty gritty and hearing the other side from the ex-colleagues, etc. If you want the unvarnished story, get this book! You'll learn about business as well as the life story of a legend.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth beind the grin, 18 Oct. 2012
By 
Dick Fisher (England & France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Branson (Kindle Edition)
This is a great work by Tom Bower.

It soon becomes clear that behind the inane grin, Sir Richard is a forensic operator.

What I still can't comprehend is how the bearded one manages to persuade erstwhile partners to pay much more for a share of a "Virgin" business than either it's worth, or when compared to what Branson puts in the pot.
.
It's also apparent that Virgin always seem to stand on the shoulders of giants - buying into businesses when others have done all the hard work. Getting out when the going gets tough or sticky (Virgin Trains).

Above all, I think the book underlines the laziness of our press. Always too ready to believe the PR puff than the real story that lies under the surface.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read., 5 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Branson (Kindle Edition)
A really good read, has shown me an insight into the world of business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tastes good i, 29 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Branson (Kindle Edition)
What can you say about a Bounty Bar?? Tastes good i guess
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Branson by Tom Bower (Paperback - 4 Aug. 2008)
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