In his trademark straight-talking style, legendary auto executive Lee Iacocca speaks his mind on the most pressing issues facing America today: the shortage of responsible leaders in the business world and in government; the nation's damaged relations with its longtime allies; the challenges presented by the emergence of China and India on the world's economic stage; the decline of the American car business; and the state of the American family.
Iacocca shares the lessons he's learned from a lifetime of hard work and adventure, of spectacular successes and stunning defeats, of integrity and grace and good old-fashioned American optimism.
It's fun listening to Lee Iacocca's gravelly voice scold us for the mess we're in. His curmudgeonly conversational style and idiomatic language make us feel as though grandfather is venting at us. His lists of complaints include Iraq and the lies that got us there, dependency on foreign oil, democracy undermined, grossly incompetent political appointees, eco-disastrous policies, deficit insanity, etc. He holds special venom for Cheney's pretense of distance from Halliburton's humongous profits from no-bid, no accountability contracts. But he holds irresponsible nonvoters and mindless voters responsible for it all. He exhorts us to listen carefully to presidential candidates and to apply to them his nine Cs of leadership: do they have curiosity, creativity, communication skills, character, courage, conviction, charisma, competence and common sense? Iacocca also describes how he put the Mustang and the minivan on the road and saved Chrysler from financial ruin, then blames his successor for the unequal marriage of (and divorce from) Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz. But Iacocca isn't simply a boaster and grumbler; he's also a doer. He established a leadership institute at Lehigh University to address the lack thereof, and a diabetes research foundation after his beloved wife died of the disease. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 2).