The Snowball by Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

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Synopsis

Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.”

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.”

When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.
 

About Alice Schroeder

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Author Alice Schroeder was a noted insurance industry analyst and writer who was a managing director at Morgan Stanley. She first met Warren Buffett when she published research on Berkshire Hathaway; her grasp of the subject and insight so impressed him that he offered her access to his files and to himself. Their friendship and mutual respect make her ideally positioned to write the The Snowball. Ms. Schroeder was born in Texas, and she earned an undergraduate degree and her MBA at the University of Texas at Austin before moving east to work in finance. She is a former CPA and lives in Connecticut with her husband.
 
Published September 29, 2008 by Bantam. 832 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Snowball

The New York Times

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In 1940, 10-year-old Warren Buffett was taken to New York as a birthday gift from his father.

Sep 28 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Guardian

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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop As recently as 2008, Warren ...

Dec 13 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Guardian

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Two years ago, he wrote an ice-cold letter to Nicole Buffett, the adopted daughter of his son Peter, telling her: 'I have not legally or emotionally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or cousin.' The Warren Buffett who emerges from these pages is u...

Oct 26 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Telegraph

The credit crunch has not been kind to capitalists, but the author of the official biography of Warren Buffett could hardly have asked for better timing.

Oct 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Telegraph

It was this devotion to clumping together small sums - the snowball of Schroeder's title - that brought him his wealth.

Oct 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Christian Science Monitor

For a long time, a lot of people have found him fascinating, usually focusing not only on his accumulation of money through an astonishing array of businesses, but also on his home base of Omaha, Neb., and his apparently folksy lifestyle.

Oct 27 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

BookPage

By the end of high school, his businesses - which also included reselling pinball machines and refurbishing golf balls - had made him $5,000 (worth about $53,000 today).

Sep 06 2014 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Zimbio

"The Snowball" is a unique biography that covers a really broad territory and narrates the captivating story of the most intriguing American, Warren Buffett, and even international, success story of modern times.

Sep 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

People

On the day she wed her stockbroker beau in '52, Susie Buffett looked in his car and saw manuals and ledgers.

Oct 27 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Bookmarks Magazine

The Topic: Sure, Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha and the mastermind behind the success of the nearly mythical Berkshire Hathaway, is the world’s richest man (a reputed $62 billion upon the book’s publication).

Oct 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Seeking Alpha

For instance, in his attempt to draw a distinction between Ben Graham and Buffett, and to make a larger point about the Great Depression, which produced Graham's worldview, and the post-WWII era, which produced Buffett's, Lewis writes the following: Benjamin Graham was in many ways very different...

May 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Ford Literary Blog

Alice Schroeder’s published research on Berkshire Hathaway so impressed Warren Buffett that he offered her unprecedented access to his files and himself.

Mar 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Motley Fool

Buffett's relationship with the bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) , another investment, began when his father took him to meet the firm's chairman on a 10th birthday trip to New York City.

Nov 19 2009 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

The Finance Professional's Post

The Finance Professionals' Post educates readers in the finance and banking sectors on the forces that shape their business.

Apr 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

Economic Policy Journal

There was a deal that went down where Buffett spent x millions to buy a company from a friend of Buffett's and Buffett's partner Charlie Munger that saved the friend's butt big time.

Dec 15 2008 | Read Full Review of The Snowball: Warren Buffett ...

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Andrew Novak

Andrew Novak 23 Sep 2013

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