Kathryn's Reviews > The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

The Snowball by Alice Schroeder
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May 15, 12

Read in September, 2011

What I liked about the book was the way the author, a family acquaintance, captured the complexities that are Warren Buffet. He has one specialty, and one specialty only... an amazing ability to analyze the odds. When he was a kid, he found he could make money from discarded racetrack tickets. Later, he discovered how to evaluate a stock. This was his obsession. This was his pleasure. It was a genius limited to a narrow expertise.

All this narrow genius was at the expense of social ability and worldly sophistication, suggestive of Asbergers Syndrome. His diet remained extremely limited. He was paying his staff very low wages, until someone convinced him to meet the norm. It was only his wife who showed any interest in charitable causes. The image of the all-seeing, all-knowing guru who knows all things political is not the Warren Buffet you will meet in this book.

The author deftly moves between strengths and weaknesses to present a rich and complex picture of Warren Buffet without pretension or guile; a picture of the man who was courted by the powerful, could be influenced by strong personalities, was pulled into politics for others' agendas, but just preferred a good hamburger and a handful of stock reports to make his day complete. A surprisingly interesting read.
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