Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer By: William Knoedelseder

ISBN-13: 978-0062009265

Being from Central Illinois and half-way between Chicago and St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch has always felt fairly close to home.  St. Louis itself is a town I have spent a significant amount of time-in addition to being a Budweiser fan myself.  So when I read Mr. Knoedelseder's book I had the same feeling I had when reading Kurt Cobain by Christopher Sandford or reading anything about Jim Morrison-sometimes I'm not sure I want to know the true nature of one's humanity (or lack thereof).  Institutions such as The Doors, Nirvana and Budweiser are all victims of their own demise.  Careers and businesses that are built on such great foundations (with the right amount of luck), but as soon as the fame and/or fortune kicks-in, the goals dont coincide with a successful business model and the foundation crumbles (think: Maslow's need hierarchy theory).  

Mr. Knoedelseder's extensive history of the Busch family politics and dynamics-in addition to their business practices was incredibly cohesive and gave the reader, not a window, but a door with a colored map of the Anheuser-Busch business.  The book is a complete history and was entertaining, informative and (at times) a real life soap opera complete with sex, drugs and first-class accommodations.  This must read is an excellent perspective of a piece of American history and economics 

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