8 of 8 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 13 months ago by xmfclick
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 14 months ago by Geoffrey
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would the real Richard Branson please stand up...,
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not only greedy and staunchly self serving but also a lot less rich than the like of the Times makes out,
Bower unveils the real Branson, not only greedy and staunchly self serving but also a lot less rich than the like of the Times makes out. He likes to project the loveable rogue image, David against Goliath in the public image...after you've read this, you;ll know that nothing Virgin does is really in the public interest. Hats off the Bower. Couldn't put it down.
34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual and damning at the same time,
When I ordered this book I didn't realise it wasn't the official biography and within a few pages I'd decided this book was just an indictment of one of Britain's best loved businessmen by an author in essence jealous of Branson's success, feeling that he'd cheated to get to the top. My conclusion when I'd finished the book was that this book could have been so much better had the author stuck to fact and not opinion.
There's no doubt this book is well researched - I'm tempted to suggest that since I haven't heard of much in the way of legal action by Branson following its publication, its content is probably highly accurate (it's even got a very negative comment on the book by Branson himself on the back cover). In fact, from a content point of view I found it a very interesting book and a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. In particular, I was fascinated by the way Branson juggled his different ventures throughout this history of the Virgin brand.
What I was not so keen on however was the way in which the author used every opportunity he could in the book to draw conclusions that each event showed another reason why Branson was a cheat, a sulk, a bully, and a hypocrite. I found this rather sad as I felt it showed that strange British phenomenon of trying to knock down success stories of people who have made it. The world of business is not a nice place, to believe that any successful business is whiter than white is churlish - in some ways, the book provides a great introduction to how important brand marketing is, and that is something even the author acknowledges Branson is superb at.
Would I recommend this book? definitely, but be warned, there is a lot of opinion there which I don't really feel is warranted.
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Blagson,
Having just finished this book, it's is a fantastically written book by Tom Bower and I shall be acquiring some other pieces of his work and he truly covers all the facts and views of people that have been partnered with or have worked for Richard Branson to create this book that is about Virgin not based from Richards voice.
It reveals Virgins "green" empire in a different prospective other that the sixties renegade business prospector "success"
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a different perspective,
I have read pretty much most books on this great man, but i feel that a lot of what the author has wrote is probably closer to the truth in more ways than one. No body gets to the position that branson has, financially or in terms of publicity, if he was totally innocent of some claims made in this book. It doesnt detract in anyway the inspiration he instills in normal everyday folk to better themselves but you do have a nagging thought at the back of your head , on whether he really did get all this by smiling and being mr nice guy to everyone around him ???
Also the fact that he is uk`s best known and respected businessman, most of his wealth is stored overseas, in essence, depriving the uk tax system from the bulk of his wealth, `rich - leterally, coming from someone who loves to wave the british flag in an effort to drum up more business.
5.0 out of 5 stars A MODERN DAY BRAND ENTREPRENEUR,
This review is from: Branson: Behind the Mask (Kindle Edition)
Tom Bower's usual, strong, investigative stuff. The story tends to dart about a bit in the telling; but Branson's is an extraordinary story to tell. A modern day entrepreneur who has negotiated his way into a myriad of commercial opportunities based on the power of his brand. Whatever the good or the bad of it, and as I look about me, I do not see a railway, an airline or a space craft operating under my name. I don't even own an island.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a Brilliant Insight into Virgin and Branson, and All True....Otherwise He'd Sue,
To get the best out of this book you will have needed to have read "Losing My Virginity" first. Branson's account in his book is the stuff of dreams, and he makes it all look a breeze for him and his talents. A very enjoyable read.
Bowers almost takes "Losing My Virginity" piece by piece and through some thoroughly well researched work, exposes much of the Branson and Virgin myth.
When it was published, Branson almost sued (something which he claims he never does), but even after taking on a Libel with Guy Snowdon over the lottery bribery, and winning, based soley on his one line notes on a piece of paper scribbled in the toilet, he didn't have the stomach to take on Bower and sue him over the contents of this book.
Some people have said that Bowers is jealous, but he is a well accomplished investigative business journalist. So, if he has written untruths it would be really easy for Branson to get the book taken off the shelves and collect many millions in damages - but he hasn't - so ask yourself why.
If you like reading authorised autobiographal self publicising 'puff' with no cutting edge, then don't read this book.
If you like getting behind business deals and Branson's considerable PR machine and want an insight into what truely happened, and how the Virgin business really works buy it now; the stories and revelations are shocking to read, more so for St. Richard fans.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Negative?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Branson (Hardcover)
I found this book thoroughly entertaining to read, however I was slightly disappointed in the rather negative tone of the book. Bower appears to be an excellent author but it seems that at times he revels in the failures of Branson.
I am not saying that he should glorify the man, but perhaps if the notice of Bransons' writ was not included until the end, people would not go into reading the book with a relatively negative mindset.
An excellent book all the same, one worth recommending to anyone even marginally interested in the Virgin empire, entrepreneurship or business in general.
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard is his inimitable self...,
I thought I knew a lot of the names & now I've come to Herbert Smith, the airline's solicitors. My sister, Tracy & I have known Richard, his parents & his sister since 1981. My mother met him later on up here when he helped her with prizes for the Diabetic Grapefruit Ball. I am enjoying Tom Bower's books as I do have a business mind! My last permanent job was with McDonnell Douglas & Boeing's solicitors!
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well researched,
The research that the author has put into this is amazing. That Branson hasn't sued is a good indication that it is accurate. It is quite well written but occasionally the author does seem to be a little bit too hostile to Branson at a personal level.
I still admire the success of Branson but I would be very careful of doing business with him. He doesn't seem the most ethical of business men.
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Branson: Behind the Mask by Tom Bower