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Book reviews: Quench Your Thirst, Distilled, The Destructive Power of Family Wealth

Our roundup of new and noteworthy business book releases, featuring Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two; Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy; The Destructive Power of Family Wealth

Our roundup of new and noteworthy business book releases, featuring Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two by Jim Koch; Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy by Charles Bronfman; The Destructive Power of Family Wealth by Philip Marcovici.

Quench Your Own Thirst: Business Lessons Learned Over a Beer or Two

Author: Jim Koch
Rated: 4/5
Published by: Flatiron Books
Pages: 250

Jim Koch offers a unique perspective. Not only is he the founder of The Boston Beer Company and brewer of Samuel Adams, but he is also a fifth generation brewer. Through Quench Your Own Thirst, Koch gives readers a behind the scenes history lesson on how he left his career as a management consultant to start his own brewery. Using his great-great-grandfather’s recipe, he founded and built a craft beer empire, which has captured a very respectable 1% of the American beer market in 32 years. The engaging story begins in 1984 as Koch leaves his management consulting job at Boston Consulting Group and with the conversation he had with his father about starting the brewery. This is a story worth reading and learning how a first generation entrepreneur and fifth generation.

Distilled: A Memoir of Family, Seagram, Baseball, and Philanthropy

Author: Charles Bronfman
Rated: 4.5/5

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 339

The Bronfman dynasty, under the leadership of Samuel Bronfman, founded their spirit business in 1924 and in his autobiography, appropriately titled ­Distilled, the Canadian youngest of four second gens turned billionaire businessman, philanthropist and owner of the Montreal Expos candidly reflects on his family’s business, Seagram, and their fortune. He is justly proud of his “entrepreneurial philanthropy” which saw him support the Jewish Canadian causes close to his heart, co-chair the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and serve as founding co-chairman of Historica Canada, the charity that produced the patriotic Heritage Minutes commercials. You should definitely read this book and fully understand the incredible nature of the Bronfman family and Seagram and learn from his triumphs as well as his mistakes, including the feud that threatened to tear the family apart: “Nobody wins in a family war.”

The Destructive Power of Family Wealth

Author: Philip Marcovici
Rated: 3/5

Published by: Wiley
Pages: 271

Despite a forbidding title, this book provides authoritative guidance on family wealth management, with a focus on both family and wealth. Global taxation regimes, changing bank secrecy laws, asset protection and other issues are examined to help wealth owners in planning. The discussion includes details on the essential tools that aid in the execution of wealth management strategies. Marcovici offers thoughtful insight into wealth destruction as well as tools to prevent the problem. This book is worth reading, particularly chapter eight, which breaks down this difficult issue into practical and manageable answers. Written by a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, this is a handy tome for both family business principals and trusted advisers which will help break that familiar curse of “shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.”


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