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Iacocca: An Autobiography

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  8,986 ratings  ·  338 reviews
He's an American legend, a straight-shooting businessman who brought Chrysler back from the brink and in the process became a media celebrity, newsmaker, and a man many had urged to run for president.

The son of Italian immigrants, Lee Iacocca rose spectacularly through the ranks of Ford Motor Company to become its president, only to be toppled eight years later in a power
Mass Market Paperback, 366 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published 1984)
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 ·  8,986 ratings  ·  338 reviews

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Abhishek Dafria
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Having recently read Steve Jobs and of course having been mesmerised by it, I figured that it would be a tough act to read another corporate tale for quite some time. But having asked around a bit, I was recommended the autobiography of Lee Iacocca. As I am still in the mood to learn how great corporate guys have clicked and what makes them stand apart, I decided to get my hands on Iacocca. Lee Iacocca is not of my generation, nor do the American cars hold any great presence in my country... so ...more
Rohit Sharma
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
February 2018, I completed 20 years of my driving career :) and I realized that as my first drivers license finally expired. Even after driving a plethora of cars in last 20 odd years, I still haven't laid my hands on my dream car which happens to be a Ford Mustang (without any doubts). A couple of years back as soon as it was launched in India, I had a very light tinkle in my eyes and I end up buying the "Autobiography" of Mustang's Dad - Lee Iacocca, the guy who made it possible. It has been m ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gold mine. Labor relations, change management, marketing, Govt. relations, cost reduction, & the recent Trump rhetoric – I get to know all about it in this 370 page paperback, which was written way back in 1984. More than that it teaches you about persistence, about having a greed for ambition, about confronting petty egos, not falling in the paralysis of analysis and doing something, and about having guts to do what might be unpopular now but right in the long term.
Many of the co
Anil Swarup
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
If Akio Morita talks about the Japanese style of management in his seminal book, "Made in Japan", Iacocca typifies the American school of management. The principles are by an large the same except that Morita treats employees as a part of the family, true to Japanese tradition, the focus of Iacocca is on individuality. However, both are practical down to the core. Both are keen on making-it-happen through a variety of instruments available with the leader.
According to Lee, decisiveness is the k
Sharan Srinivasan
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well deserving of its mantle as a management classic! Iacocca goes through the whirlwinds of success and blowdowns he endured over his careers at Ford and Chrysler, intertwining his personal experiences with management mantras. He goes into various aspects of what it took to make business at Ford function and the very little that it took to break it all down. He then repeats the exact same theme with Chrysler but in vice versa. These pieces of Gyan feel so common sense that it's easy to breeze t ...more
Gautham Vasan
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I have a hard time believing Lee Iacocca can handle criticism. Throughout the book, he either derides his detractors or vehemently defends his decisions. Early on, when he keeps disparaging Henry Ford Jr, he comes across as resentful and deeply hurt. I can empathize with a disgruntled employee, but I have a hard time believing that Henry Ford Jr was that incompetent. Our memories always tend to paint us in a positive light. But looking at Lee Iacocca's autobiography, I feel like my memories are ...more
Jul 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Managers, Libertarians, Liberals
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: memoirs, self-help
Lee Iacocca wrote this book while he was still seen as one of the most successful managers in American automotive history, after he had switched from working for Ford to become CEO of the ailing Chrysler, and had managed to rescue it (temporarily, as it turned out) from foreign takeover. In some ways, now that his light has faded a bit, it may be easier to see this book as being useful for its advice on management from a flawed but gung-ho manager, rather than as an ego document of one man’s lif ...more
Claude Vertu
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite book of all time! I have read this book over and over again, throughout the years. Although I'm usually into more spiritual/science type books, this one has always moved me because it's about business, cars, family, and a true super-hero. In short; it's got it all! I've read many books on business management, but nothing has taught me more about hard work, discipline, and even faith, than Lee's autobiography. If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book ...more
Maciej Nowicki
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent and insightful autobiography by Lee Iacocca, the man who was a president at Ford Motor Company and, later, at Chrysler Motors. The book describes the workings of the auto industry, covering its advantages and disadvantages. It details the politics and external influences that affect the industry.
In addition, Lee Iacocca is a charismatic, business-savvy leader who cuts through the office nonsense and prioritises his family above all else. His lessons and decisions that helped
Priyanka -
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lee Iacocca is a compelling and an easy to read book.Even though this was written almost 30 years back,this provides a window to the auto industry in a manner which is relevant even today.Fired at the age of 54 by Henry Ford,after serving the presidency for 8 years,Iacocca doesn't sit back and play golf.He joins Chrysler,revives it and brings it back from the brink of bankruptcy.The father of Mustang and one of the greatest CEO of all times is a man who believes in working hard and being straigh ...more
Christian D.  Orr
An American automotive icon

As both a former owner of a classic Mustang (1967) and the current owner of a Chrysler 300 (2007), I have plenty of reason to respect and appreciate Mr. Iacocca, and it was with considerable sadness that I heard of his passing earlier this year. And after reading this bestselling autobiography of his, I respect and admire Lee just that much more. Being a 25 year-old book, a good bit of the material is now outdated (especially the alarmism about then-seemingly omnipoten
Paula Dembeck
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This very successful autobiography written by Lee Iacocca with William Novak and published in 1984 was the best-selling non-fiction hardcover book of 1984 and 1985. In it Iacocca looks back on his life and his career in the automobile industry in the seventies and eighties, first at Ford Motors and then later at the Chrysler Corporation.

The book is divided into three parts.

In the first he writes about his life growing up as a member of an Italian immigrant family, his experiences at school and
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
I picked up this book because it was referred to on several episodes of the show The Office. So I was intrigued. Lee Iacocca's life and successes were amazing. His success story is so full of great advice and common sense approach that you can't help but try and find a way to incorporate them into your life.

He is known as the father of the Mustang and the savior of Chrysler. Though having been a great president at both companies, he was famously fired from Ford. What was most fascinating was ho
Mike Simon
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lee Iacocca's autobiography was excellent. His discussion of making Ford and Chrysler successful is just one part. Mr. Iacocca is truly a visionary who see the silver lining on each dark cloud and who is an eternal optimist.

What is most striking about the book and really hits you hard is the chapter "Making America Great Again". Honestly this book could have been co-authored by Donald Trump. But more to the point you are seeing great Americans who love their country sorting things out so that th
Jennifer Tanzi
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read! A great leader for sure!
Michał Malinowski
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
very inspirational
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book about the legendary, the Man behind those classic stories of epic cars and their birth. So many lessons can be learned from this man’s life.
Jeff Mayo
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this in the 1980's when Iacocca was at the height of his power, having rescued Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy. I reread it within the last decade when Chrysler had to be bailed out by the government, yet again. Iacocca isn't braggadocios about his miraculous rise in Ford, having invented the Mustang, and his crash in an ugly power struggle in the late 70's. He didn't get mad, he got even, going to work for weak competitor Chrysler and putting them back on top. It's part historical ...more
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I'll admit, I wasn't very interested at first - I'm not a motorhead and think the United States needs to invest more in public transportation and alternative sources of energy than gas - but to my surprise, this book was fascinating. I understand why this is considered a "must-read" for business people.

This book is part autobiography, part business book, and part discussion of America's government.


The autobiography parts were colored str
Jeffrey Williams
I re-read this book 30 years later after it was first released (and my first reading of it at age 13) and discovered just how much this book has influenced my life. A lot of the takeaways about management practices, the need for humility and for working together has governed my life since I read this. Stuff that didn't make sense when I was a teenager makes perfect sense for me today. It was worth taking the time to re-read. ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: meh, preachy
Donated by an ex-boss who believed I may learn a thing or two from his idol. I did and bitching was one of the lessons. Man, this books reeks of Iacocca's hate of Mr. Ford and you will be reminded of it in almost everything Mr. Iacocca did at Chrysler.

The very explicit hire-and-fire methodology justified is at the least very disappointing.
Yevhen Nesin
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I guess he wrote the book because of the ego. The story is quite interesting, it was nice to look inside automobile industry, but sometimes it looked like Lee was telling just how great he was and how miserable and silly was Ford and others. The book is nice to be read, but definitely not a must. Especially nowadays.
Hesamul Haque
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is an amazing read. In this book the reader not only gets to know about the life of Lee iacocca but also the valuable lessons which his dad taught him and how he saved the company he joined after serving as the president at ford for almost 8 years are the take aways from the book. Following your passion is success!
Paul Mamani
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Iacocca: An Autobiography is the fascinating story of Lee Iacocca, a business legend. He helped shape Ford into the number two US auto maker and then saved Chrysler from going out of business. ... From there, he began his stellar rise through the ranks to become the head of the Ford Division in 1960.
Arjun V
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The writing is so good, that it's easy for you to forget that it's actually an autobiography.
But the story itself is so gripping, in a way, and gives you an insider account of the war of the cars b/w GM, Ford and Chrysler, narrated by the king himself.
Written back in the 90s, the book gives you an interesting perspective of the visionary of this man.
Roy Huff
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was great insight into auto leader great. It had me briefly flirting with supporting trade protectionism with respect to US fiscal and monetary policy when I was a novice on the subject. The concepts are not completely sound, but the book is an excellent autobiography on Lee Iacocca.
Ashwin Krishnamoorthy
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quite a fast read. Simple, elegant writing of straight to the point, typical American businessman. Much to his flamboyant writing, Iacocca writes the story of the Chrysler turn-around. Any one with the slightest business inclination, should pick this up as your next read.
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a must read for anyone wanting to understand how humans work.
Oct 11, 2019 added it
Shelves: biography
Read,courtesy of Reader's Digest. ...more
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book has many things.

First, an insight into the Big American Company culture with its flagrant excesses by the top management, do or die attitude and intense capitalism. All these traits seeped into the modern business world and we see many of them in the big MNCs today, although now somewhat diluted by regulation and bridging of the management and labour divide. Very interesting to see the working environment in the 70s and 80s. Henry Ford's shit would never fly in a public company nowaday
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Lee Iacocca was an American automobile executive best known for the development of Ford Mustang and Pinto cars. He served as President and CEO of Chrysler from 1978 and additionally as chairman from 1979, until his retirement at the end of 1992.

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