Maxwell: The Outsider

Traces the life of the controversial British publisher, recounts how he built his empire, and examines the charges of mismanagement that surfaced after his mysterious death
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (March 1, 1992)


Editorial Reviews

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The ego has landed

If you’re determined to read a 500-page book make it this one. Tom Bower delivers flesh-and-blood business history as interesting and witty as any fiction.
That’s thanks largely to his subject matter – Robert Maxwell. Nearly 25 years after his death, it’s still hard to imagine a more improbable character. To summarize Maxwell as a unique joint venture of Western banksters and Eastern European communists would be truthful yet incomplete. Maxwell was a man of vision who saw the role of computers and other communications devices long before most others and acted upon it. If war and peace hadn’t done the job then John le Carre would have had to create Maxwell. Come to think of it, Tiger Single in “Single & Single” seems not far off.
Ego and enigma are two lenses Bower uses to examine Maxwell. Nine kids with a shiksa? A rosh yeshiva’s funeral in Jerusalem for someone who walked out on orthodoxy not long after his bar mitzvah? The mysteries abound.
Bower untangles the business jungle and breathtaking fraud better than any investigator. Some might be surprised to learn that the wife was more astute in financial dealings with Maxwell than most of his bankers.
The gray areas are given their proper dimensions. Maxwell’s mistreatment in Britain is only partially true. And Israeli leaders spoke too soon in praise of him. That’s the lot of a diaspora whale, I suppose.
Surprising there hasn’t been a Maxwell movie yet. Maybe Bower can add a foreword and get Hollywood interested. Captain Bob would fit right in with the comic book characters regularly inhabiting the silver screen.

An Intricate Suspicious Insider

This excellent work reveals some of the inner workings of the British publishing-financial world which can be very intricate indeed. The book is a real service.

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