Billionaire: The Life and Times of Sir James Goldsmith

Ivan Fallon, Author Little Brown and Company $27.95 (500p) ISBN 978-0-316-27386-2
Although a British peer, 58-year-old James Goldsmith is the son of a German Jew and a Frenchwoman from a peasant family. His meteoric rise from an Eton dropout, compulsive gambler and small businessman in his 20s to a billionaire multinational corporate raider by his 40s is entertainingly detailed by British journalist Fallon ( The Brothers: The Rise of Saatchi & Saatchi ). The author, who had Goldsmith's cooperation, is sympathetic to his subject but adequately covers the controversial aspects of his life. Goldsmith's practice of maintaining several concurrent households with various wives and mistresses and children has caused considerable scandal. He is also well known as an arch conservative, a fervent anti-communist and a hater of the press. However, his reputation as a greed-driven takeover addict has been muted recently by his passionate espousal of ecological causes. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1992
Release date: 03/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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