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Download The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life Audiobook, by Alice Schroeder Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,760 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alice Schroeder Narrator: Richard McGonagle Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9780739334072
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Here is THE audiobook recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.”

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.”

When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This audiobook tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Schroeder . . . has a meat-and-potatoes style that matches the homespun wisdom of her subject. . . . Now more than ever, Buffett’s emphasis on fundamentals seems like genius. It’s the perfect moment for a great book on an immensely inspiring capitalist. People, four stars
  • Schroeder . . . is well equipped to elucidate Buffett’s deals [and] Buffett’s life abounds with good stories. New Yorker
  • You will learn a lot about one of the nation’s most compelling and important men from reading The Snowball. Boston Globe
  • In The Snowball, novice biographer Alice Schroeder gives us one of the most detailed, candid life stories ever published. . . . It is almost impossible to stop reading. Christian Science Monitor
  • A monumental biography . . . Schroeder got the best access yet of any Buffett biographer. . . . She deals out marvelously funny and poignant stories about Buffett and the conglomerate he runs, Berkshire Hathaway. Forbes
  • “Alice Schroeder’s accumulation of detail, her vivid, artless descriptions of people and places, and the resulting narrative fluidity make this a compelling book. It has the bouncing vitality of an early Sinclair Lewis novel. Times Literary Supplement
  • An excellent and highly enjoyable look at the business titan . . . If you’ve looked at your 401(k) statement and started to fear that everyone in financial markets is either greedy, predatory or incompetent, do yourself a favor. Take $35 out of the mattress and buy a copy of Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. At a time like this, it’s a real comfort: Buffet is living proof there’s at least one wholly rational person managing money. Houston Chronicle
  • The mandatory book to read in these treacherous times of financial crisis. . . . A thoughtful and intimate biography of the globe’s wisest investor. Forbes
  • “Will mesmerize anyone interested in who Mr. Buffett is or how he got that way. The Snowball tells a fascinating story. New York Times
  • If the replication of any great achievement first requires knowledge of how it was done, then The Snowball, the most detailed glimpse inside Warren Buffett and his world that we likely will ever get, should become a Bible for capitalists. Washington Post
  • Anyone who has been watching events unfold in recent months—which would be everyone—can now appreciate the wisdom of Buffett. . . . The most authoritative portrait of one of the most important American investors of our time. Los Angeles Times

    “Even people who don't care a whit about business will be intrigued by this portrait. . . . Schroeder, a former insurance-industry analyst, spent years interviewing Buffett, and the result is a side of the Oracle of Omaha that has rarely been seen.
  • Everyone knows that in a deep and liquid capital market like that of the US, it is just about impossible to beat the stock market averages over anything more than the short term. But Buffett has been ahead of the curve for most of the past 50 years, making him one of the world’s richest people. Alice Schroeder’ s massive authorized biography, The Snowball, provides some clues about how he’s done it. Financial Times
  • In this startlingly frank account of Buffett’s life, Schroeder, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley—and hand picked by Buffett to be his biographer—strips away the mystery that has long cloaked the word’s richest man to reveal a life and fortune erected around lucid and inspired business vision and unimaginable personal complexity. Publishers Weekly 
  • This massive—and highly readable—text (produced with Buffett’s full cooperation) is an unvarnished and well-paced biography that is essential for all public and academic business collections. Library Journal
  • For students of the Oracle of Omaha, or even those looking for a little reassurance during the crisis, Schroeder’s book is a fascinating study of America’s most successful investor. New York Post
  • A penetrating and personal look at the Oracle of Omaha . . . An astute, and at times riveting, read—especially now. BusinessWeek
  • Ms. Schroeder does a good job of pulling . . . volunteered disclosures out of Mr. Buffett but her real contribution is her own investment expertise which enables her to make the convoluted financing schemes over the last 50 years understandable to lay readers and truly instructive to the business information junkie. Washington Times
  • This is a fast-paced, precisely drawn profile of a man who, despite his high visibility in the financial world, isn’t someone we’ve known much about. . . . We do now. Kansas City Star
  • Top-notch biographies demand thorough research and crisp, finely honed writing. Schroeder exhibits both. . . . It’s hard to imagine a more complete account of Buffett’s life had he written it himself. Buffalo News 
  • Riveting and encyclopedic . . . The overall power of the story carries The Snowball forward. There is much to be learned from it. Wall Street Journal
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eleanor | 2/19/2014

    " I found this book very interesting. I'd actully got it for my husband to read because he enjoys finance and "crunching numbers", but I was surprised that I enjoyed learning a bit more about Buffett beyond his means of making money. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lj | 2/6/2014

    " I usually enjoy books about the Oracle of Omaha. This one is written as a fawning love story with who-knows-whom details ad nauseum. I'm afraid that I couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing. Alas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 2/2/2014

    " I really liked this one - I think Warren Buffet is fascinating anyway, but the author didn't shy away from pointing out his eccentricities and the tradeoffs he made in the life he chose even as she clearly got his cooperation and he contributed thoughts to several sections of the books. It reconfirmed much of what I knew but also taught me a lot about situations I did not know before. A really enjoyable read from my perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margot | 2/2/2014

    " I finished this a long time ago. Very good biography of an amazing man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nash | 1/19/2014

    " Good to hear how the richest man in the world thinks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marta Kuberska | 1/14/2014

    " That all rich people in US start from being newspaper boys. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenneth Lorence | 1/3/2014

    " Warren Buffett is a true business genius. A semi-autobiographical account written with Alice Schroeder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laird Bennion | 12/3/2013

    " As good a bio of Buffett as exists - much better than the Lowenstein book from the 90s. Very readable, fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gregg Tushaus | 10/20/2013

    " The Snowball is a great biography of a hard working, disciplined, persistent and passionate man. It is fun to read a success story of an "average guy" that is anything but average. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim O'shaughnessy | 4/6/2013

    " Hint: He's hardly the "Awe-Shucks" guy next door... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louise | 1/5/2013

    " A great book, a really good insight into Warren Buffett and how his mind works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 11/24/2012

    " This is a long one but I am really liking it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 6/2/2012

    " If you enjoy or once enjoyed investements, you will like this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 3/13/2012

    " 700+ pages and this is "condensed"?! Horribly written, especially in the beginning. Some interesting reading later on, but I came away with a much poorer opinion of Mr. Buffet after all this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tasha | 3/12/2012

    " This was an amazing book to read. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did. It was such a page-turner! (And at almost 1,000 pages that's a good thing!) Wasn't something I normally would have picked but thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spencer | 1/22/2012

    " Good book with lots of insights into a self-made man. Some biographies leave you with a good idea of what it would be like to meet that person for lunch. This one still left that idea a mystery to me, which I like. It makes me want to read newspaper headlines about him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grant | 12/10/2011

    " Buffet loves his work but does not seem like an unmatched genius. He doesn;t sound like a gifted dad or husband. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mila | 10/8/2011

    " What I read was good but I wasn't interested enough in his life to read the whole 800+ pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 6/30/2011

    " great biography, very cleverly written to teach some financial basics, the principles with which warren buffett has always operated and the person behind the business mogul "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sakyahara | 5/20/2011

    " Start Open Chapter 2.
    Buku yang tebal benar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JOHN | 5/10/2011

    " Busyet....12% Kekayaannya Naik Tiap Taun....Orngnya ckckck...Meskipun Pny Pershaan Penerbngan Terbesar....Kemn-mna Blm Prnah Pq Peswat Milikny....ckck...ckck... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie | 4/16/2011

    " Completely fascinating!!! A very detailed look at Warren Buffett's life so far, plus lots of Omaha history which I found very interesting. Can't say enough about how much I enjoyed reading The Snowball! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliot | 4/5/2011

    " A good material to learn about Warren Buffett's life and his thinking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fi | 3/20/2011

    " Best ever biography. Captivating. And success is not from luck. You need to be obsessed with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 3/19/2011

    " Conceptual yet understandable. What he does is quite sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laird | 3/18/2011

    " As good a bio of Buffett as exists - much better than the Lowenstein book from the 90s. Very readable, fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 3/7/2011

    " Learned so much about the world and how it ticks and what a pillar of financial truth Warren Buffet is. I don't think there is anyone on the planet I admire more. What a guy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 2/23/2011

    " I was worried about reading another book about a billionaire but he is such cheapskate it was OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scot | 2/17/2011

    " Want to know why he's so rich, it's cause he's really, really smart! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/10/2011

    " Fascinating (but really long) story of Warren Buffett's life, his family and his rise to become one of the richest men in the world. He exemplifies what Gladwell wrote about in Outliers. "

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About the Author
Author Alice SchroederAlice Schroeder was a Wall Street analyst and a managing director at Morgan Stanley when she decided at Warren Buffett’s suggestion to write full-time. A former CPA, she lives in Connecticut with her husband.
About the Narrator

Richard McGonagle is an experienced film, television, and voice-over actor. He has appeared in such films as Rules of Engagement and such television shows as The Practice and JAG.