Book Review: Business Adventures by John D. Brooks

Business adventures

“More than two decades after Warren [Buffett] lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read . . . Brooks’s deeper insights about business are just as relevant today as they were back then.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal

So this review by Bill Gates inspired me to get hold of this old, rather neglected business classic. I found a version of this book online and undertook the adventure.

The book is an anthology of 12 dramatic events that will take you into the heart of the world’s largest financial centre – the New York Stock Exchange (aka Wall St). While I will not delve into the individual stories, I shall mention a few things I noted in nearly every chapter. While Wall St executives and bankers are constantly stereotyped merely as rich, arrogant manipulators controlling the world’s moneys, it is worth noting that these people are also some of the most hard working. With tremendous responsibilities on their shoulder, these people are constantly on their toes to make the best decision and prevent any crisis that can shake the financial world anytime.

How successful business people act in times of chaos and looming failure is a lesson to be learned for everybody. From the of the Ford Edsel to the success of  Xerox to the lingering crisis of the sterling in the 60s, this truly is a business classic anyone serious about business and entrepreneurship should not overlook (even though it is 40+ years old). While it may seem a little too technical to someone just getting their foot on the door in the financial world, there are ample tacit and implicit drills about the business world that is not to be missed.

So look no further. You may not understand everything but you will learn a lot.