The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Grand Central Publishing, Jun 8, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 355 pages
5 Reviews
With insight and refreshing candor, Peter G. Peterson describes his remarkable life story beginning in Kearney, Nebraska as an eight-year-old manning the cash register at his father's Greek diner through his "Mad Men" advertising days, to Secretary of Commerce in Nixon's paranoid White House, to the tumultuous days of Lehman Brothers, and to the creation of The Blackstone Group, one of the great financial enterprises in recent times.

In THE EDUCATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAMER, Peterson chronicles the progress of this journey with irony, humor and, sometimes, painful honesty. Within these pages are stories of marriage and family hardship; lessons in political gamesmanship; thoughts on his obsessive desire to succeed; and, finally, learning the meaning of "enough." From his advertising days in Chicago in the 1950's to becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 300 Company, he shares with us his rise to the top and the price paid along the way. As the youngest Cabinet member in the Nixon administration, he describes his survival techniques in a hubris-driven and paranoid White House, including his turbulent turf wars with Treasury Secretary John Connally leading to Peterson's abrupt and highly publicized firing. His stewardship of Lehman Brothers is a Shakespearian tale of a CEO who struggled to deal with partners who were plotting his demise and, at the same time, turning an institution on the brink of bankruptcy to one with 5 straight years of record profits.

His life's story is about doing well by doing good. In the wake of Blackstone's highly successful public offering, Peterson found himself an 80-year old instant billionaire, on the verge of retirement. And like many lifetime workers and over-achievers, he suddenly confronts an unexpected, depressing identity crisis. His solution? Committing a great bulk of his net proceeds to establish the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, his philanthropic endeavor to do something about America's politically untouchable challenges that threaten America's future, among them massive entitlement obligations, ballooning health care costs, and our energy gluttony.

Ultimately, this is a man's account of his legendary successes, humiliating failures, and personal tragedies - a testament to a remarkable life and, indeed, to the American Dream itself.
  

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Review: The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond

User Review  - Kenneth Lorence - Goodreads

This is a great autobiography from Peter Petersen. A good mentor and a very accomplished man. Read full review

Review: The Education of an American Dreamer: How a Son of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way from a Nebraska Diner to Washington, Wall Street, and Beyond

User Review  - Journeywoman - Goodreads

I'm astonished at how much I enjoyed this book. I had to read it for work and now I'm so glad I did. This is extremely relevant and full of common sense. Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER 1
George and Venetia
The Peterson Family Begins
Economia
Depression Baby Businessman
Eager to Please
It Wasnt That Easy Being Greek
Life Comes into Focus
CHAPTER 9
First Steps with the Soviets
Preparations
The Manipulative Armand Hammer
Moscow Moments
Agreement
CHAPTER 10
My Big Fat Greek Calves

CHAPTER 2
MIT
A Different World
Roy Cohn
Interim
Northwestern
Breaking the Code
My Brilliant Career in Retailing
CHAPTER 3
Night School
I Like Ike
A Step Up
Ascending
Creative Minds at Play
An Ethical Dilemma Leads to a Fork in the Road
CHAPTER 4
Zooming In
Increasing Exposure
The Mailman Cometh
Young President
CHAPTER 5
The Amazing Dr Land
Desperate Measures Slogging On
The End of the 1960s
CHAPTER 6
Brookings
The Establishment Calls
Finding My Throw Weight
CHAPTER 7
Report Card
Warning Signs
Rising Star
The Connally Tsunami
Trade War?
CHAPTER 8
Aftershock
Demotion by Promotion
Herbert Hoover Watch Over Me
Dolphins and Baby Seals
Clothes on Fire
The Watergate Mind
Letting Go
My Next Career
Washington Postscript
CHAPTER 11
Welcome to Wall Street
Into the Maelstrom
Restructuring
CHAPTER 12
Bonus Babies
Better Times at Lehman
Glanville
Brain SurgeryShock
Bad Times at Home
Joan
My Children
CHAPTER 13
SelfAssessment
CHAPTER 14
Some Blackstone Principles
Finding a Toehold
Raising a Buyout Fund
Blackstone Capital Partners
Transitions
Off the Ground
CHAPTER 15
Blackstone Alternative Asset Management
Real Estate
A Case Study
Fun at Blackstone
Going Public
CHAPTER 16
Encounters Around the World
The Peterson Institute for International Economics
Fiscal Responsibility and Generational Equity
The Concord Coalition
The Clinton Years
CHAPTER 17
CODA
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
†††ABOUT TWELVE†††
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Peter G. Peterson is chairman and co-founder of The Blackstone Group. He is chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, founding chairman of the Institute for International Economics (Washington, D.C.), founding president of The Concord Coalition, and co-chair of The Conference Board Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprises.

Bibliographic information