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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
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My Dad gave us three "kids" this book for Christmas; said it was "an important
book" for our times. I have now--2 months later--completed the book. All 800+ pages
of text plus some of the footnotes. Thanks Dad! While I agree Warren Buffett is an
important man, I must (respectfully, of course) disagree that *this* is an important
biography. For all but the most detail-minded, this book is skimmable or
excerptable. Dip in to a chapter here and a chapter there. My favorites and somewhat
representational of the whole would be: one from the early years, one of the
chapters on Buffett’s relationship with Kay Graham of the Washington Post, one on
Mrs. B. and one on Geicko, and one or two on Buffett’s ongoing relationship with
Bill Gates. Or browse the index for topics and, and read selectively. Then call it

Why, you may ask? On p.478, the author--who had complete access to
Warren Buffett for years-- wrote: "Buffett had the energy and enthusiasm of a
restless teenager; he seemed to remember every fact and figure he had ever read…”
With few exceptions, the endless repetition of those details in the book, to the
point that it seems the author is reciting from Buffett’s calendar, do not make a
good biography. Telling us over and over, year by year, what Buffett had for lunch
at each meeting – or more annoyingly what he would NOT eat – or reciting entire
lists of attendees of each meeting and dinner, do not for the most part add to our
knowledge of Buffett as a person or how he thought and made decisions. It does not
make for interesting reading. In short, an important man, a skimmable and exhausting

Author/Artist/Director of Item Being Reviewed: 
Schroeder, Alice
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