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The Man Who Broke Capitalism by David Gelles released a week from today

David Gelles announcing the upcoming release of his new book, The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy
The Man Who Broke Capitalism by David Gelles released a week from today

The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America—and How to Undo His Legacy by David Gelles

Friends,

One week from today, THE MAN WHO BROKE CAPITALISM will be published.

The first excerpt just appeared on the cover of the Sunday Business section of The New York Times.

You can read it here: How Jack Welch’s Reign at G.E. Gave Us Elon Musk’s Twitter Feed

Early reviews for the book are in.

“Full of color and vitriol, this is an incisive, eye-popping history,” said Publishers Weekly.

Kirkus called it “a vigorous argument for a more humane capitalism.”

But more than a book about one man, this is a book about a system — one that lionizes executives as it marginalizes workers, one that lets corporations run roughshod over communities while starving the government of badly needed tax dollars.

Bette Midler gets it:

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Once you pre-order, review the book on Amazon or Goodreads. (Hopefully five stars!) I know this is a pain, but it makes all the difference and I’d be so so grateful for a quick rating and review.

  • Spread the word via social media or however is best. Here’s some suggested language:

“The Man Who Broke Capitalism” by @dgelles is out May 31. It's about Jack Welch, his disastrous legacy, the rise of shareholder primacy, and how to fix it.
Pre-order now!
AMZ: https://tinyurl.com/2474etws
B&N: https://tinyurl.com/3nh84rek
Bookshop: https://tinyurl.com/3dzjk33v
S&S: https://tinyurl.com/2p98zww7

  • If you’d like to purchase 25 copies or more as gifts or for your team, you can order them at a discount from the good folks at Bulk Books via this link.

  • If you’d like to discuss speaking opportunities, or just want to chat about the book, please reach out to me at [email protected].

  • And if you want to learn more about where the book came from, I shared a bit of the backstory in a previous email.

Thank you for your support.

—David Gelles

Previous Email Mentioned

Friends,

I’m thrilled to announce that my new book, THE MAN WHO BROKE CAPITALISM, is being published on May 31 by Simon & Schuster.

It would mean so much to me if you considered pre-ordering it today:

You can do so via Amazon,
Or Bookshop,
Or Simon & Schuster.

The book is about former General Electric chief executive Jack Welch, his ruinous legacy, the failings of his protégés, the noxious rise of shareholder primacy, and how we can fix it.

If you would like to discuss speaking opportunities, or just want to chat about the book, please reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like to purchase 25 copies or more as gifts or for your team (which would be amazing), you can order them at a nice discount from the good folks at Bulk Books via this link.

Now, a bit about where this book came from. . .

As the Corner Office columnist for the New York Times, I’m in regular dialogue with CEOs at some of the biggest companies in the world. And over the years, one name kept coming up: Jack Welch.

Some CEOs revered him. Others reviled him. But no matter whether they loved or hated him, it was clear that decades after Welch’s retirement, he was still living rent-free in the minds of today’s top business leaders.

Then I came upon a story that brought it all home. In 2019, I was part of the team at the Times that covered the fallout from the two tragic crashes of the Boeing 737 Max. As we investigated what went wrong, it quickly became clear that a rotten culture was as much to blame as faulty software. And when we began digging into how Boeing’s culture went awry, all roads led back to Welch.

Over the past 20 years, a succession of former GE executives who studied at Welch’s knee transformed Boeing from a company that put engineering first into one that cared about the stock market above all else. Long after Welch had stepped down from GE, his insidious influence was still leading major American companies to ruin.

With that story fresh in my mind, I began digging into Welch’s broader influence, and was soon finding his fingerprints all over today’s unequal economy. He was the first mainstream CEO to embrace downsizing, leading to a generational destabilization of the working class. He was the leading proponent of dealmaking, using mergers and acquisitions to consolidate industries and ultimately creating a less dynamic marketplace for all sorts of products and services. And he was the one CEO, above all others, who pioneered the dark arts of financialization — everything from excessive buybacks, to dubious earnings management, to a slavish devotion to the share price at all costs.

Yet while this book takes a hard look at Welch and his legacy, it ultimately ends on a hopeful note. Today, a new generation of business leaders is waking up to the fact that the Welchian way of doing business inevitably leads to ruin. Towards the end of THE MAN WHO BROKE CAPITALISM, I highlight some of their efforts, and lay out practical suggestions for companies and policymakers who want to create a more equitable economy for all.

A pre-order now would help make this endeavor a success.

You can order via Amazon,
Or Bookshop,
Or Simon & Schuster.

Thank you,

David


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