How Bill Gates resurrected his favorite business book

by Rachel Baker on July 13, 2014

This is a cool story about how Bill Gates’ love for a book allowed the book to be reprinted and brought back to the public.

It remains the best business book Bill Gates has ever read, despite being nearly half a century old, and being out of print until Gates’ intervention. It’s now available as an e-book, will be reprinted and available physically in September. Gates’ favorite chapter is available for download at his site.

The book came to mind again when Gates was discussing favorite books with Andy Cook, a general manager at Gates’ private office and think tank and the team that helps run his GatesNotes website, where he frequently posts about his voluminous reading. It came up that the he rarely discussed business books, and Gates immediately brought up Business Adventures.

Past books he’s featured have seen significant uptick in sales. But this book was out of print, meaning anyone looking for the book would have faced the prospect of tracking down an older hard copy. Figuring out who even had the rights was tough. It had been with the now-defunct publisher Weybright and Talley, then rights transferred to a publisher in England at some point. The New Yorker had the original columns, but it was hard to figure out who had the book rights.

So Cook got in touch with Alex Brooks, the author’s son.

How Bill Gates resurrected his favorite business book of all time

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