7/22/2017

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The Education Of An American Dreamer
How The Son Of Greek Immigrants Learned His Way From A Nebraska Diner To Washington, Wall Street, And Beyond
by Peter G. Peterson

With insight and refreshing candor, Peter G. Peterson describes his remarkable life story from his beginnings in Kearney, Nebraska, as an eight-year-old manning the cash register at his fathers's Greek diner...through his "Mad Men" advertising days...to his tenure as Secretary of Commerce in Nixon's paranoid White House...to his tumultuous days at Lehman Brothers...and to the creation of The Blackstone Group, one of the great financial enterprises in recent times.

In The Education Of An American Dreamer, Peterson chronicles the progress of this journey with irony, humor, and sometimes painful honesty. Within these pages are stories of marriage and family hardship, lessons in political gamesmanship, thoughts on his obsessive desire to succeed, and, finally, reflections on the meaning of "enough." From his advertising days in Chicago in the 1950s to becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 300 Company, he describes his rise to the top and the price paid along the way. As the youngest Cabinet member in the Nixon administration, he reveals his survival techniques in a hubris-driven and paranoid White House, as well as the turbulent turf wars with Treasury Secretary John Connally that led to Peterson's abrupt and highly publicized firing. His account of his stewardship of Lehman Brothers reads like a Shakespearean tale of intrigue and betrayal, with partners plotting Peterson's demise while, at the same time, he was working to turn a nearly bankrupt institution into one that would have five straight years of records profits.

His life's story is one of doing well by doing good. In the wake of Blackstone's highly successful public offering, peterson found himself an eighty-year-old instant billionaire on the verge of retirement. And like many lifetime workers and overachievers, he was suddenly confronted by an unexpected, depressing identity crisis. His solution? Committing a great bulk of his net proceeds to establish the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a philanthropic endeavor that targets the daunting challenges that most threaten America's future, including massive entitlement obligations, ballooning health care costs, and America's alarming energy gluttony.

Ultimately, this is one man's account of his legendary successes, humiliating failures, and personal tragedies--a testament to a remarkable life and, indeed, to the American Dream itself.

About the author:

Peter G. Peterson lives in New York City with his wife, Joan Ganz Cooney, a founder of the Sesame Workshop, and is the father of five children and grandfather of nine. His most recent book, Running on Empty, was a national bestseller. He is the chairman emeritus and cofounder of The Blackstone Group, chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, founding chairman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, founding president of The Concord Coalition, and retired chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is also the founding chairman of the Peter G. Peterson foundation.

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