The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer
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The engrossing, often scandalous saga of one of the wealthiest, longest-lasting, and most colorful family dynasties in the history of American commerce—a cautionary tale about prosperity, profligacy, hubris, and the blessings and dark consequences of success.
From countless bar signs, stadium scoreboards, magazine ads, TV commercials, and roadside billboards, the name Budweiser has been burned into the American consciousness as the "King of Beers." Over a span of more than a century, the company behind it, Anheuser-Busch, has attained legendary status. A jewel of the American Industrial Revolution, in the hands of its founders—the sometimes reckless and always boisterous Busch family of St. Louis, Missouri—it grew into one of the most fearsome marketing machines in modern times. In Bitter Brew, critically acclaimed journalist Knoedelseder paints a fascinating portrait of immense wealth and power accompanied by a barrelful of scandal, heartbreak, tragedy, and untimely death.
This engrossing, vivid narrative captures the Busch saga through five generations. At the same time, it weaves a broader story of American progress and decline over the past 150 years. It's a cautionary tale of prosperity, hubris, and loss.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Amazing story that goes in depth of a world most all of us will never know or understand. The rise and fall of the Bush family and thus the company is tragic but the lessons are invaluable. Having watched (from the inside) a company grow to a fortune 50 size only to have the reins turned over to an "outsider", this story seems familiar. The story is compelling, the writing complete.
Didn't know very much about the Busch family when I started, but this book really opened my eyes. I felt like the author was very fair in his interpretations. When he writes about the takeover, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to follow along, but he really did a great job of explaining things.
feels like the backstory to an under-appreciated city
While a great read for anyone, this is a must read for anyone who has lived or does live in Saint Louis. I have been here for three years and have had the unshakable feeling that the history of Anheuser Busch is inseperable from the history of this great city. The story here is always gripping and never drags, from the brewing of an iconic (if less than delicious) beer, to the clash of old school business with the globalization and consolidation of industry, to the details of a wealthy family who seems to be portrayed honestly, whether good, bad or ugly.