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49 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm surprised Branson hasn't had this book pulled by now
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...
Published 8 months ago by xmfclick

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Company politics
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.
Published 9 months ago by Geoffrey


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm surprised Branson hasn't had this book pulled by now, 8 April 2014
By 
xmfclick (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opened my eyes, 25 Mar 2014
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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?

Far from it. Read Bowers and find out the warts and all truth behind the Virgin story, its not nearly as successful as it seems.

The amazing thing is how brilliantly Branson has used the Virgin brand to fleece the British tax payer.

Worth the price of admission for the low down on the Virgin Galactic failure to reach space and for the anecdote about Branson hitting on Jensen Buttons girlfriend.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 2 Oct 2001
By 
Richard Pepper (Milton Keynes, Bucks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Branson (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Branson: Behind the Mask (Hardcover)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 25 Mar 2014
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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 encourage and inspire entrepreneurship than most successful business people - however, what's important is to get the truth about how he's done it, what really goes on behind the scenes and what makes the man tick.

As a business owner myself, I often looked a Branson in awe wondering how on earth he's managed to create so many different hugely 'successful' businesses while I'm so busy trying to build just the one! Tom Bower has done the world a great favour by unveiling the smoke and mirrors that surround Branson and as a result has perhaps saved many entrepreneurs from losing everything they've worked for by trying to clone an empire building strategy and persona portrayed by Branson, that isn't actually correct.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Company politics, 26 Mar 2014
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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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deflating the Branson hype, 12 Feb 2014
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Robert Bard (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account, 17 Aug 2014
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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 rejection of real innovation. Virgin is, in the words of Bernie Ecclestone, 'a nickel-and-dime operation,' and Bower offers a fine exposé of the true nature of the company and of Branson himself, which is needless to say, completely at odds with his carefully manicured PR image.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives you Stereo Vision, 17 Oct 2009
This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
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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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would the real Richard Branson please stand up..., 22 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Branson (Paperback)
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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Branson: Behind the Mask
Branson: Behind the Mask by Tom Bower (Hardcover - 27 Jan 2014)
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