The personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha”—for fans of the HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett
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.
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.
Praise for The Snowball
“Even people who don't care a whit about business will be intrigued by this portrait. . . . Schroeder, a former insurance-industry analyst, spent years interviewing Buffett, and the result is a side of the Oracle of Omaha that has rarely been seen.”—Time
“Will mesmerize anyone interested in who Mr. Buffett is or how he got that way. The Snowball tells a fascinating story.”—New York Times
“If the replication of any great achievement first requires knowledge of how it was done, then The Snowball, the most detailed glimpse inside Warren Buffett and his world that we likely will ever get, should become a Bible for capitalists.”—Washington Post
“Riveting and encyclopedic.”—Wall Street Journal
“A monumental biography . . . Schroeder got the best access yet of any Buffett biographer. . . . She deals out marvelously funny and poignant stories about Buffett and the conglomerate he runs, Berkshire Hathaway.”—Forbes
“The most authoritative portrait of one of the most important American investors of our time.”—Los Angeles Times
Customer ReviewsSee All
More than just a book about the richest man
This book changed my life. Not in the "WABAM! My life is changed!" kind of way but in the minutia. The way I view family, friends, myself, life and death including the roles each play. This book validated many of the “crazy” ways I see the world and people, which calmed me. The historical references and details make this the most interesting “read” I’ve encountered yet. I originally bought this, as I have many others, to have something to listen to, and learn from, when I can’t sleep. After the first couple of chapters I realized it was keeping me awake. I’ve never had that problem with audio books before. Not even with the books I really liked. Of course it changed my views on investing too. Not really so concerned with exits anymore. If I could have only found this book around the time I was meeting with my genie…
Highly recommend it
THREE CHEERS TO MS. SCHROEDER: THREE CHEERS TO MR.BUFFET!!!!!!
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST "FUN" BOOKS I'VE EVER READ. IT'S KEPT ME SMILING, GRNNING, AND REMEMBERING ALL THE YEARS GROWING UP, RECALLING THE SAME EVENTS, DURING THE SAME YEARS. ONLY, I WAS BUSY REARING FIVE CHILDREN --- A WIFE OF A PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTY THAT LED US A MERRY CHASE! I'VE READ ABOUT MR. BUFFET OVER AND OVER WISHING I COULD KNOW MORE ABOUT A KINDLY, SUPERLATIVE MIND THAT THIS BOOK HAS ONLY JUST PROVEN AND BROUGHT TO LIGHT. THREE CHEERS TO MS SCHREDER! THREE CHEERS TO MR. BUFFET!!!!