A fascinating biography of the visionary behind the shareholder activist movement
“Bob Monks is a truly rare creature, not only a businessman turned political activist, which is rare enough, but an activist in and on behalf of business, which makes him virtually unique.” –Nelson W. Aldrich, Jr. author, Old Money: The Making of America′s Upper Class.
“A Traitor to His Class is a fascinating account of an idealistic visionary in action.” –Ben Makihara, Chairman, Mitsubishi Corporation.
“A superbly written book that provides a fascinating and candid insight on the brilliant but complex Bob Monks. A must read for any director, corporate shareholder, or employee of a public enterprise.” –L. Dennis Kozlowski, Chairman and CEO, Tyco International Ltd.
“One of the most interesting players in the development of corporate governance has been (the often controversial) Bob Monks. This well–written and lively biography puts him and his role in perspective–scholars, for information, and CEOs, for survival, ought to read it.” –John Biggs, Chairman, President and CEO, TIAA–CREF.
“An interesting story of one of the early proponents of changes in corporate governance and a formidable personal opponent in several corporate battles.” –Martin Lipton, Esq., Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Ask anyone who knows Robert Monks to describe him, and words such as “visionary,” “determined,” and “passionate” will surface. He is, in fact, all this and much more. At six–foot–six, he is a formidable presence, but the respect he demands has less to do with his physical stature than with his influential status as a driving force behind the shareholder activist movement – an initiative that began as a self–proclaimed “mission” to improve corporate governance and accountability, and that is now an integral part of contemporary business and investing. Now, the remarkable history of the movement and one of its pioneers is told.
Though born into a wealthy and powerful Boston family whose roots were established in New England before the Revolution, Robert Augustus Gardner Monks was never intent on simply leading a life of privileged luxury. Driven by a deep desire to make himself “useful to the world,” he took steps to meet this end. He graduated from Harvard University –Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude–and Harvard Law School, and subsequently joined Boston′s second largest law firm where he became one of its youngest partners ever. Monks then embarked on a new path which led him towards his ultimate goal of far–reaching public service.
Vividly tracing his extraordinary journey, A Traitor to His Class follows Monks′s experiences as businessman, corporate attorney, venture capitalist, regulator, and finally, shareholder activist. Written with exclusive access to Monks himself, as well as his collection of notes, speeches, and correspondence, it covers his numerous accomplishments –as well as a few defeats. Included are his term as the Department of Labor′s pensions administrator; his bid for the Sears board of directors, a run that won him recognition as “the leader of the battle to reform American corporate governance”; and his three attempts at the Senate, all of which were invaluable training for the guerrilla war he would wage on big business.
Instrumental to his battle is his brainchild, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which today handles voting for hundreds of corporate and government pension funds and represents a deciding factor in many contentious proxy votes at large companies both here and abroad. A Traitor to His Class intricately details ISS′s growing impact, as well as that of the Lens Fund, whose forays into poorly managed corporations have set new precedents for shareholder activism.
The biography of a man who dared to demand that Corporate America be answerable to both its owners and society, A Traitor to His Class is an engaging and enthralling look at one of today′s hottest, most controversial movements in business.
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A #1 New York Times bestseller and the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Pulitzer Prize–winning Angela’s Ashes, this masterpiece from Frank McCourt tells of his American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur.Frank McCourt’s glorious childhood memoir, Angela’s Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.And now we have ’Tis, the story of Frank’s American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this “classless country,” and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank’s incomparable voice—his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue—that renders these experiences spellbinding.When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should “stick to their own kind” once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach—and to write—that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela’s Ashes comes of age.As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela’s Ashes, “It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best.” Frank McCourt's ’Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.