The most widely recognized business executive of all time asks the tough questions that America's leaders must address:
- What is each of us giving back to our country?
- Do we truly love democracy?
- Are we too fat and satisfied for our own good?
- Why is America addicted to oil?
- Do we really care about our children's futures?
- Who will save the middle class?
A self-made man who many Americans once wished would run for president, Iacocca saved the Chrysler Corporation from financial ruin, masterminded the creation of the minivan, and oversaw the renovation of Ellis Island. Since then he has created the Iacocca Institute for leadership at Lehigh University and the Iacocca Foundation, which funds research for a cure for diabetes. Lee Iacocca believes that leaders are made in times of crisis -- such as today. He has known more leaders than almost anyone else -- among them nine U.S. presidents, many heads of state, and the CEOs of the nation's top corporations -- and is uniquely suited to share his wisdom, knowledge, and wit about the leadership of America.
Author of the gigantic number one bestsellers Iacocca: An Autobiography and Talking Straight, Lee Iacocca famously doesn't mince words and offers his no-nonsense, straight-up assessments of the American politicians most likely to run for president in 2008, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney, and John Edwards.
Confessing that he has "flunked retirement," Iacocca calls on citizens of all ages to vote, get involved, and choose our leaders carefully. Along the way, he shares stories about the prominent people he's met and known, including the time he smoked cigars with Fidel Castro, what Bob Hope told him about how to live a long life, what Lady Sarah Ferguson said to him as they danced, why Bill Clinton woke him up in Italy, what Robert McNamara taught him about success, how Frank Sinatra sang for him personally, and whom Pope John Paul II asked him to pray for. We learn what he discussed with Warren Buffett, DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Ronald Reagan, Senator John Kerry, Congressman John Murtha, Prince Charles and Camilla, former Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar, rapper Snoop Dogg, financier Kirk Kerkorian, Ted Turner, Bob Dole, and many more.
Knowing that the times are urgent, the iconic leader shares his lessons learned and issues a call to action to summon Americans back to their roots of hard work, common sense, integrity, generosity, and optimism.
Iacocca, the bestselling author and former president of Ford and Chrysler, is back to sound a howl of anger against the sad state of leadership in the U.S. today. Iacocca starts with a rundown of sins committed by George W. Bush and his administration, and then moves on to criticize the American auto industry-naturally, he's furious over over the sale of Chrysler to Daimler-Benz. Along the way, Iacocca rails against the lack of leadership in vital national concerns such as health care, open markets and energy policy. Iacocca may not have a whole lot new to say, but he is always engaging, even when spinning his wheels over the current crop of presidential hopefuls or recommending that Congress take a year off from enacting laws or spending money. The book's strength lies in Iacocca's emotional honesty, which shines when he details the reasons he passed on a Presidential run, how he felt when his wife died and his frustration at the poor decisions he's made during his retirement (fessing up to voting for Bush in 2000 and handpicking the executive who sold Chrysler to the Germans). Iacocca is a genial person to spend time with, but his insights no longer carry the weight that made his autobiography, Iacocca, a runaway bestseller.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 16, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Where Have All the Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.
My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to -- as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.
WHO ARE THESE GUYS, ANYWAY?
Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them -- or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.
And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.
Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?