Perot: An Unauthorized Biography

Todd Mason, Author
Todd Mason, Author Business One Irwin $22.95 (316p) ISBN 978-1-55623-236-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Business Week former Dallas bureau chief Mason offers a biting yet balanced profile of the fiercely independent H. Ross Perot, who left IBM in 1962 to found Electronic Data Systems where he made millions from institutional and industrial contracts he acquired and serviced with the help of the gung-ho, workaholic staff he inspired. He is portrayed here as gutsy, but acutely aware of his image: when Iran jailed two EDS employees in 1978, he arranged a paramilitary rescue; he then wielded editorial control over Ken Follett's On Wings of Eagles (Perot's contract with Morrow allowed him to kill the project if he repaid the novelist's $1 million advance) and the subsequent miniseries dramatizing the rescue. Less profitable ventures, according to Mason, included Perot's dealings with Texas Blue Cross and his investment in a Wall Street brokerage firm. Least successful of all was the General Motors takeover of EDS, which resulted in $700 million for Perot, then a suit to stop him from hiring EDS employees for Perot Systems. Mason had access to confidential depositions taken in the lawsuit, and his account of the case makes for lively reading. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (June)
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