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Best of many on Buffett,
This review is from: Buffett: The Biography (Duckworth) (Kindle Edition)
That Warren Buffett's extraordinary career should have attracted a flood of written prose, including biographies, collections, and how-to books is not surprising. Lowenstein's biography, endorsed by friends of Buffett if not in so many words by the investment genius himself, is the best combination of the three genres and the one to read. Though it was published in 1995, the new edition has succinctly been updated to 2008, and nor have Buffett or his career changed in any fundamental way in the meantime.
Written in the conventional style of a biography, this combines in about equal measure personal observations and a description of Buffett's investments and technique. Indeed, both are complementary, and the author makes the point well that one needs to know Buffett the man to understand his business success. This is moreover accessible to the complete layman, and though the more financially literate might have liked more detail on the exact structure of the Buffett partnership, for example, or on some of Buffett's investments and their individual performance, the book should appeal to anyone interested in the guru's investing principles. There are numerous Buffett quotes, moreover, themselves easily complemented by a look at the Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, all available online. And while Lowenstein's style is not particularly literary, this has its good moments, for example Buffett's 1991 rescue of Salomon Brothers. Buffett has been, or is, an extraordinary character, and his life is well worth reading about. For anyone with an interest in investing, it is also of essential relevance.
One note on the Kindle edition. I am generally appalled at the poorness of online publishing, but this really beats anything I have seen so far. The book's electronic version has typos everywhere. Paragraph tabs are constantly missing. The quotes are all over the place. For one full chapter, the same phrase 'she had a broken wrist' is repeat in front of every footnote after the one where it belonged, etc.. This looks as though it was put together, in Word, by a not particularly attentive first-year college kid. What does it take to re-read Kindle books before they are published? Five stars to Lowenstein, one star to Amazon for its Kindle version.