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Gerald Ratner: The Rise and Fall... and Rise Again Hardcover – 19 Oct 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Capstone; 1st edition (19 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841127868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841127866
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"...[a] rollicking read" ( Financial Times, Monday 29th October 2007)

"contains lessons for us all" (Management Today, November 2007)

"self–effacing, revealing and human."  (Financial Times, Wednesday 26th November 2007)

"...it is a compelling insight into retail history and the internal workings of a behemoth, international jewelry company."  (Idex Magazine – International Diamond Exchange, January 2008)

His jewellery might have been crap but his book isn t. This slim volume of memoirs is extremely readable... (The Independent, Extra, Thu 13th March)

a case study of how retailing nous shaped a winning formula on both sides of the Atlantic. (The Oldie, April 2008)

From the Inside Flap

In 1991, Gerald Ratner made a landmark speech to the Institute of Directors.

After over 25 years in the jewellery trade, Gerald Ratner was one of the most well–known and successful retailers of his generation. He had built up a highly profitable, multi–million pound international business, including household names like Ratners, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones and Watches of Switzerland, as well as over one thousand stores in the US. Being asked to give the keynote address at the Institute of Director′s annual conference at The Royal Albert Hall was a great honour and should have been the crowning glory of two decades of empire building.

But his speech was seized upon by the media after he included jokes about the quality of some of his shops′ products. No one could have predicted the far–reaching impact these jokes would have.

"Even though I had once had my name above hundreds of shops up and down the country, it had become more famous as a byword for crap. It took several years to realise just what an impact the speech had had on every aspect of my life."

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really good read, a good businessman brought down by an amusing comment and the total overreaction to it, and the long struggle back.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I never met Gerald although i worked in the jewellery trade for many years which is why this book appealed to me ,everyone knows the story of Geralds rise and fall and what an amazing story and well worth reading ,so many things i thought i knew but didn't , I usually read a chapter a night of any book but this one i couldn,t put down totally gripping and inspiring stuff ,you really couldn,t see this coming to such an energetic ,passionate man.
Some valuable life and business lessons to be gleaned from this book also a great book for would be enterpreneurs and also a moving fascinating story and a nice account of Geralds early life , the honesty and sincerity of the author shines through , i really enjoyed it , i was feeling down before i read it but its really spurred me on and makes you realize just what you can achieve and what really matters i give it five gold stars ....
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Format: Hardcover
I have read many bio's from business leaders and most are boring 'how to get rich' or 'let me tell you a long list of not very interesting stories, with all the good bits missed out'. Gerald's book is very different it is a great read, I could not put it down. If he wrote it, he has a great writing skill. The story is so interesting because he has nothing to hide, the papers have dragged everything out over the years and worse, so his version of events is amazing and shocking and show the classic British media's love of building people up and knocking them down. His detail of all the events is very useful and very educational. A must read.
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Format: Paperback
Great
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Format: Hardcover
In an often boring genre dominated by US titles like How to Get Rich and Stay Rich it is refreshing to see an honestly written business autobiography that acknowledges that dynasties, luck (good and bad), contacts and the age one operates in play as much as a part as business acumen. It's a great story because it covers ups and downs: failed business 'stars' rarely come out from under their stones.
My only niggle was Gerald's mis-spelling of some of the prominent business names of the era. He or a proof reader has done the book a disservice as Sir Hector Laing becomes Sir Hector Lang, Roger Seelig (who figures frequently)is now Roger Selig, Paine Webber is Payne Webber and Bejam were apparently Beejam.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great antidote to all those books out there telling you how great British business is and how great the City is. The guy made a mistake and boy did he pay for it.
Sobering and enlightening at the same time. A great read and a morality tale of our time.
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Format: Hardcover
Essential reading for any ex-employees ( of which I am one, and proud ), and anyone requiring an interesting and motivational read. Extremely well written with complete frankness and honesty. Highly reccomended !
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Format: Hardcover
I have just see the article in the daily mail and i am off to try and see if i can buy the book locally rather than wait several days

I used to work for Gerald and can truly say he was a great boss- he had a slighty different sense of humour but always visable around the office and very personable and charasmatic and knew everybody's names

About half way throught the book now, after owning it for 2 hours and it is a truthful account of his life at Ratners well written and accurate- his style of writing is truthful like his "infamous speech" and if there is one cristism it maybe a little bit truthful- he speaks as he finds

i will carry on reading but i am a avid reader of biographies such as this and this is one book i have awaited 21 years to read!

HIs respect for other buisnessmen is apparent and refers to Mr Hussien as "Mr" as he is older and refers to his friends or co directors by their first names and Jack Ratner as "Uncle jack" - Old fashioned like his values but modern thinking in an era that truly bucked the trend at the time

This book is a must if you worked in the organisation during the 80's and early 90's and for everbody else and honest account of a very succesful business during the thatcher years.

Gerald Ratner along with Branson, Roddick, Halpern and Davies were the "architects" of today's "high street" bringing us multiple retailing from the early 80's as we know it today for good or for bad! and for that reason will go down in history

That's a book i would like to see "the architects of the multiple retail"
maybe i should write it?

One last tale - I used to run a ratners football team for the staff and when gerald heard this summond me to his office and asked if he could play?
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