How Not to Tell Stories About Corporate Capitalism

Kyle Edward Williams in The Hedgehog Review:

Even before Lee Iacocca sold the two-millionth copy of his autobiography, it was the most successful business book of its kind. More impressively, when that sales milestone was reached in July 1985, less than a year after its publication, Iacocca joined the ranks of America’s all-time bestsellers, regardless of genre, including Gone With the Wind and The Power of Positive Thinking. From his humble origins as the firstborn son of Italian immigrants, Iacocca distinguished himself as an engineer at Ford Motor Company before becoming CEO of the Chrysler Corporation in 1978, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy. Iacocca turned Chrysler around, paying back a government bailout and leading the former automotive straggler to the top of the car industry within a few short years. Highlighted repeatedly in Iacocca’s practically unavoidable TV commercials for Chrysler in the 1980s and ’90s, it was an American success story. But it was also something else, maybe something more: the creation of a new character on the American scene, the Celebrity CEO.

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