The Real Ones: Four Generations of the First Family of Coca-Cola

Elizabeth Candler Graham, Author, Ralph Roberts, With Barricade Books $21.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-942637-62-5
Judicious editing would have improved this often riveting but at times tedious, rambling family history. The saga begins with Georgian Asa G. Candler, who in 1888 paid a fellow druggist $2033 for the rights to a headache remedy called Coca-Cola and, through an innovative national marketing campaign, enriched himself, the Methodist Church, Emory University, his native Atlanta, myriad social causes and his 400-plus descendants through company profits which amounted to $1618 million net in 1991. With freelance writer Roberts, Graham, herself a Candler descendant, researched public records, private letters and unpublished documents for this business saga and family cavalcade of triumphs and sorrows, the latter brought on by sibling rivalry, infidelity, child mortality, alcoholism and accidental deaths. A highlight here is a hilarious inside look at the company's famously disastrous 1985 decision to ``improve'' the still-secret Coke formula to make the drink taste more like arch-rival Pepsi. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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