In Branson: Behind the Mask, Tom Bower asks whether the triumphs of Richard Branson, Britain’s most popular and most publicity-seeking businessman, have turned to dust over the last decade.
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The image remains pristine: a charismatic high-school dropout turned billionaire, whose stratospheric rise and daring exploits have won him millions of enduring admirers and made him a model for aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the world.
But is this story still credible? Over the last decade, has Branson matched the expectations perpetuated by Virgin’s relentless publicity machine? Or have we all been seduced by a brilliant showman?
In his most explosive book to date, Tom Bower, bestselling biographer of Simon Cowell, Bernie Ecclestone, Conrad Black and Robert Maxwell, dares to explore the reality of the Branson empire. In doing so, he unravels the gripping story of his recent activities – from the astonishing success of mobile phones to his troubled airlines and his long delayed plan to send multimillionaires into space – and asks whether he really remains Britain’s heroic buccaneer.
I think all journalists would benefit from reading Branson: Behind the Mask... Bower paints Branson as a showman who often fails to live up to his promises.
The book is subtitled Behind the Mask. Like in The Wizard of Oz, Bower is suggesting that behind the mask is nothing but a flim-flam merchant selling fantasies.
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