John Brooks


American Writer, Author of bestselling book "Business Adventures", Contributor to New Yorker Magazine

Author Quotes

Every dog has one free bite. A dog cannot be presumed to be vicious until he has proved that he is by biting someone.

Mrs. Davis raised a complaint about A.T. & T.?s contributions to charity, giving Mr. Kappel the opportunity to reply that he was glad the world contained people more charitable than she. (Tax-exempt applause.)

the guesses had been so educated as to qualify for summa cum laude.)

Xerography is electricity invading the world of typography, and it means a total revolution in this old sphere.

Furthermore, I found it seductive. In fact, I was in danger of becoming a slave. Business has its man-eating side, and part of the man-eating side is that it?s so absorbing.

Nathan Greene, special counsel to Lazard FrŠres, who was on the board for a while. Greene was a kind of business father confessor to me. I remember his saying, ?You think you?ll make your pile and then be independent. My friend, in Wall Street you don?t just win your independence at one stroke. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, you have to win your independence over again every day.? I found that he was right about that.

The Piggly Wiggly Stores in 1919, had most of the standard traits of the flamboyant American promoters?suspect generosity, a knack for attracting publicity, love of ostentation, and so on?but he also had some much less common traits, notably a remarkably vivid style, both in speech and writing, and a gift, of which he may or may not have been aware, for comedy. But like so many great men before him, he had a weakness, a tragic flaw. It was that he insisted on thinking of himself as a hick, a boob, and a sucker, and, in doing so, he sometimes became all three. This unlikely fellow was the man who engineered

He who sells what isn?t his?n must buy it back or go to prison.

Oddly, almost no one seems to have expressed gratitude to the British and American banks, which recouped something like half of their losses. It may be that people simply don?t thank banks, except in television commercials.

The role of the hero was filled, surprisingly, by the most frightening of untested forces in the market?the mutual funds.

I don?t think money makes much difference, as long as you have enough.

On the contrary, a press conference is perhaps the only kind of show whose success is in direct proportion to the number of people who leave before it is over.

The upshot of the distinctions [making business travel & entertainment tax-deductible] is to put a direct premium on the habit? which some people have considered all too prevalent for many years anyhow? of talking business at all hours of the day and night, and in all kinds of company.

I never intended to be especially combative, in Washington or in the Tennessee Valley. It was just that people kept disagreeing with me.

On the first day of his duel with the bears, Saunders, operating behind his mask of brokers, bought 33,000 shares of Piggly Wiggly, mostly from the short sellers; within a week he had brought the total to 105,000?more than half of the 200,000 shares outstanding. Meanwhile, ventilating his emotions at the cost of tipping his hand, he began running a series of advertisements in which he vigorously and pungently told the readers of Southern and Western newspapers what he thought of Wall Street. Shall the gambler rule? he demanded in one of these effusions. On a white horse he rides. Bluff is his coat of mail and thus shielded is a yellow heart. His helmet is deceit, his spurs clink with treachery, and the hoofbeats of his horse thunder destruction. Shall good business flee? Shall it tremble with fear? Shall it be the loot of the speculator? On Wall Street, Livermore went on buying Piggly Wiggly.

The way stock prices are made, the silly and almost childlike basis upon which grown men decide that a stock should be bought, and at what price

If you?re not able to communicate successfully between yourself and yourself, how are you supposed to make it with the strangers outside?

One of de la Vega?s observations about the Amsterdam traders was that they were very clever in inventing reasons for a sudden rise or fall in stock prices,

There is no possible protection from technology except by technology, he wrote. When you create a new environment with one phase of technology,

In Big Business, Lilienthal argues that not only the productive and distributive superiority of the United States but also its national security depends on industrial bigness; that we now have adequate public safeguards against abuses of big business, or know well enough how to fashion them as required; that big business does not tend to destroy small business, as is often supposed, but, rather, tends to promote it; and, finally, that a big-business society does not suppress individualism, as most intellectuals believe, but actually tends to encourage it by reducing poverty, disease, and physical insecurity and increasing the opportunities for leisure and travel.

One rather odd use of xerography insures that brides get the wedding presents they want. The prospective bride submits her list of preferred presents to a department store; the store sends the list to its bridal-registry counter, which is equipped with a Xerox copier; each friend of the bride, having been tactfully briefed in advance, comes to this counter and is issued a copy of the list, whereupon he does his shopping and then returns the copy with the purchased items checked off, so that the master list may be revised and thus ready for the next donor.

They were very clever in inventing reasons for a sudden rise or fall in stock prices.

In industry, you take a bump now and then, but you bounce back as long as you don?t get defeated inside.

Paradoxical as it may seem, the evolution of our income tax has been from a low-rate tax relying for revenue on the high income group to a high-rate tax relying on the middle and lower-middle income groups.

This preoccupation with the difficulty of getting a thought out of one head and into another is something the industrialists share with a substantial number of intellectuals and creative writers, more and more of whom seem inclined to regard communication, or the lack of it, as one of the greatest problems not just of industry but of humanity.

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American Writer, Author of bestselling book "Business Adventures", Contributor to New Yorker Magazine