Business Adventures is a 1969 collection of 12 essays written by John Brooks. The essays, all of which were previously published in The New Yorker, deal with financial and corporate life in the United States. In 1963 Harper & Row published The Fate of the Edsel and Other Business Adventures, which contains 3 of the 12 essays published in the 1969 collection.
On July 11, 2014 in an essay published in the Wall Street Journal and slightly later in his blog, Bill Gates proclaimed Business Adventures, recommended to him by Warren Buffett, as “the best business book I’ve ever read.”
The prose is superb: reading Brooks is a supreme pleasure. His writing turns eye-glazing topics (eg, price-fixing scandals in the electronics market) into rollicking narratives. …
… he tells entertaining stories with richly drawn characters, set during heightened moments within the world of commerce. He invites the readers to draw their own conclusions about best practices. …
The lessons still apply …
On July 8, 2014, Open Road Media released an e-book edition entitled Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street and in August 2014 offered a paperback edition. In 2014 Penguin Random House Audio released an audiobook of Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street narrated by Johnny Heller.
- The fluctuation: the little crash in ’62
The story of the Kennedy Slide of 1962 is told.
- The fate of the Edsel: a cautionary tale
The essay tells how the Ford Motor Company lost $350 million (in 1960 dollars) in a failed attempt to sell Edsels.
- The federal income tax: its history and peculiarities
- A reasonable amount of time: insiders at Texas Gulf Sulphur
- Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox
Bill Gates has made this chapter (which tells the story of the Xerox Corporation‘s spectacular growth from 1959 to 1967) available for free on his website.
- Making the customers whole: the death of a president (tale of the Salad Oil Scandal — which was publicly revealed at about the time of the JFK assassination)
- The impacted philosophers: non-communication at GE
- The last great corner: a company called Piggly Wiggly
- A second sort of life: David E. Lilienthal, businessman
- Stockholder season: annual meetings and corporate power
- One free bite: a man, his knowledge, and his job
- In defense of sterling: the bankers, the pound, and the dollar
- Brooks, John (1969). Business Adventures. Weybright & Talley.
- Brooks, John (1963). The Fate of the Edsel and Other Business Adventures. New York: Harper&Row. ISBN 9780598821089.
- Zlatkovich, Charles P. (1970). “Review of Business Adventures“(PDF). Journal of Accountancy (pre-1986). 130 (2): 87.
- Swanson, Clare (August 8, 2014). “The Thrill of Bringing ‘Business Adventures’ to Audio”. Publishers Weekly.
- Tobar, Hector (July 15, 2014). “Bill Gates resurrects 45-year-old book ‘Business Adventures‘“. Los Angeles Times.
- “The best business book I’ve ever read”. GatesNotes (the blog of Bill Gates).
- Stevenson, Seth (22 July 2014). “Review of Business Adventures“. The Independent.
- Brooks, John (8 July 2014). Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street. Open Road Media. ISBN 9781497638853. (e-book edition)
- “Here’s a chapter from my favorite business book (reprint of April 1967 New Yorker essay Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox“. GatesNotes: The blog of Bill Gates. July 13, 2014.
- Brooks, John (November 14, 1964). “Making the Customers Whole”. The New Yorker.
- Brooks, John (May 26, 1962). “The Impacted Philosophers”. The New Yorker.
- Brooks, John (April 29, 1961). “A Second Sort of Life, Profile of David E. Lilienthal”. The New Yorker.
- Brooks, John (October 8, 1966). “Stockholder Season”. The New Yorker.
- Brooks, John (January 11, 1964). “One Free Bite”. The New Yorker.
- Brooks, John (March 23, 1968). “In Defense of Sterling”. The New Yorker.
- “Business Adventures”. Schlow Centre Region Library (located in State College, Pennsylvania).