November 5, 2012
News & Opinion: The Financial Times & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year
The chair of the judging panel, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, said of Mr. Coll's book:
Private Empire is forensic, nuanced and extremely well written. It is the story of ExxonMobil, one of the world's most powerful companies. Through a series of compelling narratives, it covers Exxon's huge geopolitical footprint and its influence. No other book on this year's shortlist exposes so much information that we did not know.Andrew Hill had this summary of Coll's Private Empire:
As an added twist, one of the judges on this year's panel is also a chairman of one of ExxonMobil’s chief rivals. That judge, Jorma Ollila of Royal Dutch Shell, said the book “told the reader how, in the 21st century, you manage a truly global company and the relationship between business and society”.
Now, most of us will never manage a global company and our businesses probably don't have nearly as big an impact on, or implication for, the larger society they exist in. But if you need a different kind of endorsement, consider this: Most of the books I put on our founder and president Jack Covert's desk these days end up on a table in the main office that we all pick through for further review. It's an informal but effective process we have for culling just some of the many books that arrive here everyday. You know a book is really good if Jack tells you to look for it or brings it directly back to your desk, and Jack liked this book so much that he hand-delivered it back to my desk, raving about how good it is.
I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who is as big a fan of biographies and business narratives, or who has read as many of them over the past thirty years, as Jack Covert. Heck, he wrote a book entitled The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. If he's raving about Private Empire as much as he has, we're confident that you will be when you're through with it, as well.
If you'd like to learn more about the book, I think Mr. Coll's conversation with Charlie Rose should do nicely.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.