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Condé Nast book review: "The Snowball" Buffett biography
Old 10-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #1
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Condé Nast book review: "The Snowball" Buffett biography

I've read most of the Buffett books, and I've been tracking this one for the last couple years. (My copy should be here in the next day or two.) I've read through a couple dozen reviews, and these are simultaneously the most detailed yet snarky summaries I've seen:

Warren Buffett Snowball Review - Executive Articles - Print -
Buffett Snowball Review Part 2 - Executive Articles - Print -
Buffett Snowball Review Part 3 - Executive Articles -
Buffett Snowball Review Part 4 - Executive Articles - Print -
Buffett Snowball Review Part 5 - Executive Articles - Print -

Of course I'm a bit biased, with my opinion being that the only debate would be whether you pay money for the book now or wait a few weeks for the library to stock it. Yes, I shelled out a whole $19.25 for this privilege...

I think that in 5-10 years Alice Schroeder's effort will be viewed as the most thorough-- practically a Buffett concordance-- while Lowenstein will still be recognized as having written the best overall Buffett biography.

One interesting sidelight that I've only seen mentioned once: Schroeder spent so much time with Buffett and interviewing his family & friends that she realized her own marriage was doomed. She and her husband had been trying to work out their differences, but as the two of them got to know Buffett and saw how he treated the people around him, they both realized that they'd never reach consensus. They divorced more amicably than would have seemed possible.

I sure hope Lowenstein is writing a book about the real estate and credit meltdowns. I've enjoyed his research & analyses of other financial disasters.


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Old 10-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #2
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Uncle Warren called into CNBC earlier today to chat about his recent deals with GE and GS and the bailout/rescue. I thought one comment was interesting. He said most of his personal money was in treasuries, but he owned two individual stocks - BRK and WFC. More of the former than the latter, but that he had added significantly to WFC this year when it had a 20-handle.

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Old 10-03-2008, 02:08 PM   #3
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I picked it up at Costco yesterday $19.99. The Costco magazine points out that both the Ms. Schroeder and Warren are CostCo members LOL.

I finished the first 150 pages through college. No great surprises in Warren's early childhood. Obsessed with making money, awkward with girls, a distant dad and mom who was borderline mentally ill. Needless to say Warren, was scary smart, typically reading the textbook before the first day of class and quoting them back to the teacher. I was surprised to find out that he was a borderline juvenile delinquent.

Like most other bios of business leaders I've read Warren was a standout at an early age, but I right now I think it is a toss up as to who was the bigger nerd Warren or Bill Gates.
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