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Download The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing but True Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Man Who Sold America: The Amazing but True Story of Albert D. Lasker and the Creation of the Advertising Century, by Jeffrey L. Cruikshank Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (36 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey L. Cruikshank, Arthur W. Schultz, Walter Dixon Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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We live in an age of mass persuasion. Leaders and institutions of every kind-public and private, large
and small-must compete in a rowdy marketplace of images and messages seeming to come at us from all directions-in print, on radio and television, and on the Web.

It wasn't always so. In the early and middle twentieth century, a handful of creative geniuses in advertising and public relations-J. Walter Thompson, Edward Bernays, David Ogilvy, Ray Rubicam, and others-launched their once-sleepy industries into the very center of American life. And most of them point to one individual as the man who started it all: Albert D. Lasker.

But Lasker-who resolutely hid from the spotlight-has remained an enigma. Now, Jeffrey Cruikshank and Arthur Schultz, drawing on a treasure trove of previously unknown papers, have written a fascinating biography of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing figures.

Lasker helped invent "reason why" advertising, market research based on direct-mail advertising, premium coupons, and a host of other industry innovations. He invented and promoted powerful brands that are still with us today: Sunkist and Sun-Maid, Kotex and Kleenex, Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice, and many others.

But his impact went far beyond traditional advertising. Lasker was an energetic crusader against anti-Semitism. A public relations master, he engineered Warren G. Harding's successful presidential campaign, and designed the strategy that ended Upton Sinclair's bid for governor of California. As part-owner of the Chicago Cubs, he came up with the idea of a "baseball commissioner." He was the creative philanthropist who renamed the American Cancer Society and Planned Parenthood as he transformed them into prominent and effective organizations. And the Lasker Awards, for contributions to medical science, are sometimes referred to as "America's Nobels."

His personal life was no less dramatic. The Man Who Sold America recounts the powerful influence of his background, his deep friendships-and the debilitating depression he struggled with even as he forged his remarkable achievements.

This is the story of a man who shaped an industry-and changed the way we look at our world.
"The Man Who Sold America shows us the advertising industry well before the age of Mad Men..."

"The Man Who Sold America pulls back the curtain and shows us a remarkable life spent shaping much of the world we know today."

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The authors liken him to the Great Oz…‘the man behind the curtain’ who operated with relative invisibility. The Man Who Sold America pulls back the curtain and shows us a remarkable life spent shaping much of the word we know today.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This sprawling, old-fashioned biography of Albert Lasker…is a fascinating look at his role in creating the modern advertising agency and industry…A window to an earlier era.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • The Man Who Sold America isn’t about advertising; it’s about how Albert Lasker created and applied industry methods to all facets of society, revealing the industry’s amazingly insidious reach into the everyday.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Few will equal this well-notated narrative of the beginnings of promotional selling…Cruikshank and former advertising agency head Schultz help ensure, through copious research and easy-to-read prose, that Lasker will remain a critical linchpin in the US that advertising helped build.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • The Man Who Sold America is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of one of the most colorful, influential, and enigmatic Americans of the last hundred years: a human dynamo who left signature marks on the worlds of advertising, political campaigning, professional sports, and philanthropy. This book is indispensable to an understanding of how the world we live in came to be.”

    Thomas K. McCraw, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and author of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

  • “Cruikshank and Schultz provide vivid details of Albert Lasker’s revolutionary advertising and public relations career, launching and revitalizing beloved American brands. The Man Who Sold America tells a fascinating story and reveals valuable lessons and insights for anyone interested in communications and the media.”

    Carol Cone, founder, Cone Inc., and managing director, Edelman

  • “A man ‘driven by a thousand devils,’ the hyperactive Albert Lasker achieved both exceptional success and enduring significance—success in redefining the field of advertising and significance in his innovative and leveraged philanthropy. This engaging book brilliantly captures his dramatic story in a manner that simultaneously entertains and educates.”

    Thomas J. Tierney, chairman, the Bridgespan Group

  • “How did one man boost the success of orange juice, toothpaste, Bob Hope, the American Cancer Society, Warren G. Harding, Kotex, Kleenex, and Planned Parenthood? How did he do it in the face of anti-Semitism and a lifelong struggle with mental illness? Read this remarkable book about the astounding Albert Lasker and find out.”

    William H. Draper III, venture capitalist and philanthropist

  • “A brilliant businessman and brand builder, political gadfly, art enthusiast, Chicago Cubs coowner, generous philanthropist, and friend and confidant to some of the early twentieth century’s sharpest and most creative minds, Albert Lasker was a charismatic, complex, sometimes tortured soul. Cruikshank and Schultz have skillfully chronicled his life with color and energy. A fascinating read.”

    Howard Draft, executive chairman, Draftfcb

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Fred Arshoff | 8/31/2013

    " slow at the start but gets better "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/14/2013

    " Long and detailed-had to skim parts-but learned a lot about early 20th century America. In the end gald I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathy | 2/27/2012

    " Interesting but that much information on how our advertising age came to be was slightly depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Andrew | 1/15/2011

    " I really enjoyed the book up to the end. It seemed like it could have concluded with "and then he sold his share of the company and contributed a bunch of money to charity." Instead, there were one or two slow chapters of diminishing returns. I would highly recommend the rest of the book. "

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