E Cell

Book review

Iacocca: An Autobiography

By Lee Iacocca, William Novak

He’s an American legend, a straight-shooting businessman who brought Chrysler back from the brink and in the process became a media celebrity, newsmaker, and a man many had urged to run for president. Iacocca takes us on an interesting journey through his time at Ford and then later at Chrysler. At that time it was written, he was still at Chrysler and Chrysler was still a great company. Reading this book provides the reader with a little insight as to what made Iacocca tick. The book has some amusing stories and it takes an opportunity to take a jab at Henry Ford II.

History proves that what Iacocca accomplished wasn't actually great management. It was really a charismatic leader in the right place at the right time that recognized this business opportunity. Many of the decisions made and programs put in place at Chrysler fell apart when Iacocca left. The son of Italian immigrants, Lee Iacocca rose spectacularly through the ranks of Ford Motor Company to become its president, only to be toppled eight years later in a power play that should have shattered him. But Lee Iacocca didn’t get mad, he got even. He led a battle for Chrysler’s survival that made his name a symbol of integrity, know-how, and guts for millions of Americans.

In his classic hard-hitting style, he tells us how he changed the automobile industry in the 1960s by creating the phenomenal Mustang. He goes behind the scenes for a look at Henry Ford’s reign of intimidation and manipulation. He recounts the miraculous rebirth of Chrysler from near bankruptcy to repayment of its $1.2 billion government loan so early that Washington didn’t know how to cash the check.