Confessions of an Accidental Businessman: It Takes a Lifetime to Find Wisdom

James A. Autry, Author Berrett-Koehler Publishers $24.95 (250p) ISBN 978-1-57675-003-2
This is billed as a business book, but it's really a hybrid. Autry (Love and Profit) is a journalist and poet who had a successful career at Meredith Corporation, where he began as a copy editor, worked his way up the corporate ladder to retire in 1991 as senior vice-president and president of the company's magazine group. He writes with vigorous enthusiasm of the challenges of leadership, which he recounts with anecdotal detail in this rambling autobiography. Commenting, ""Toto, I think we're not in journalism anymore,"" he plunges into reflections on strategic planning, procuring financing, acquiring new properties and guiding staff. We learn what worked for him and what his blunders were. Among his personal reflections, we find that his father abandoned his family, his mother witnessed for Jesus, he himself was married three times and one of his children is autistic. Autry's poems grace this memoir, along with the self-appreciation that he was among several poets featured in a Bill Moyers series on PBS, and that the Kentucky Poetry Review has published a special James Autry issue. 25,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
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