The founder of Amway offers a unique vision for business in the 1990s involving compassion as the guiding principle, a return to capitalism's moral base, and a system that benefits workers, customers, and the environment--as well as the corporations. Reprint.
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A Christian businessman offers an inspirational blueprint for happiness--which includes ownership of a small business, unlimited opportunity to accumulate wealth, and development of a ``positive, compassionate'' stance toward one's own and others' ``dreams.'' In bite-sized segments with subtitles like ``Who Was Karl Marx and Why Was He So Angry at Capitalism?'' and ``Winners Heeded! Whiners Ignored!,'' DeVos (founder and president of Amway Corporation, a huge pyramidal network of door-to-door product salespeople) advises underpaid and downtrodden people all over the globe to latch onto independent means of livelihood--though how they might do so remains vague, unless they're one of the book's hundreds of examples of purchasers of Amway distributorships. The attitudinal requirements, however, are clear. In chapters that parallel DeVos's ultimate ``Credo for Compassionate Capitalism'' (available as a poster), ``family men and women'' are urged to dream great dreams and then to evaluate what in their lives needs to change to make those dreams come true, focusing on trading despair for hope, debt for probity, and indifference for renewed devotion to ``God, country, family, and work.'' With lots of anecdotes and quotes from the likes of Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jesus, and with full-length stories of many satisfied Amway owners included, the author exhorts budding entrepreneurs-cum-compassionate-capitalists to find a mentor (i.e., an Amway sponsor), set financial goals (meet sales targets), and someday become a mentor to others (rise in Amway's pyramid of salespeople). He also fervently supports tithing to churches and charities and ``helping to save the planet, our island home.'' An unmemorable but good-hearted addition to the tradition of Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Combining history with present-day case studies, DeVos presents a methodology for "compassionate capitalism"--that is, while remaining a capitalist, one can also care about the planet, have a conscience and heart, and reach out to serve others. Each chapter starts out with a credo: for example, "owning our own business is the best way to guarantee our personal freedom and our financial security." DeVos illustrates this credo with the example of Ben and Jerry's ice cream company, which has established a foundation and uses its resources to provide community-oriented activities with loans and grants. DeVos, a founder of the now-worldwide Amway Corporation, recently won the Alexander Hamilton Award for Economic Education from the Freedom Foundation; he maintains that inspiration and motivation are the basis for entrepreneurial success. Recommended for public libraries.
- Joan A. Traugott, Amityville P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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