|Author: Robert O'brien|
|Release date: 1995|
|Asin/ ISBN: 1573450537|
There’s no doubt that J. Willard Marriott had an interesting life. Nor that the writing in this book is simple, conversational. Which makes the biography a very easy read, a good travel novel to flip through while staying at the hotels that bear the subject’s name.
That being said, you won’t find your life view changed, or gain some new appreciation for something in the business world or how you handle your personal affairs. Rather, the book just simply recounts the story of a man who was willing to work long and hard and trust in his own willpower. A couple of times the book tries to make a point about family and having priorities outside of work. But then, sometimes in the same page!, the book quotes Marriott as saying “No one ever gets rich working just 40 hour weeks.” This was a huge nuisance for me reading, Marriott continually saying that working every hour of every day was necessary for success and then turning around (especially when he was well off) and saying that work isn’t everything and one really should focus on other things. I could go on, but that’s more of a critique of how Marriott lived his life, I just wish the book addressed this (and other) bit of doublethink.
The book shines in its account of Marriott’s young life, from his ancestry through his early 30’s. After that it gets a little stale, almost predictable at parts as success keeps rolling. I wish it had focused more on the Marriott children as they grew into the family business, but I guess it’s a story of J. Willard Marriott, not the Marriott Corporation.
If you find a used copy, give it a read, it won’t take more than a week and is a good way to pass the time.
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