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The Big Eight

by Mark Stevens

Provides an inside look at eight of the most influential accounting firms in the United States, examining their pivotal roles in the world of national and international finance.

De Kooning: An American Master

by Mark Stevens Annalyn Swan

Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true "painter's painter" whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American movement of abstract expressionism. Of all the painters in that group, he worked the longest and was the most prolific, creating powerful, startling images well into the 1980s. The first major biography of de Kooning captures both the life and work of this complex, romantic figure in American culture. Ten years in the making, and based on previously unseen letters and documents as well as on hundreds of interviews, this is a fresh, richly detailed, and masterful portrait. The young de Kooning overcame an unstable, impoverished, and often violent early family life to enter the Academie in Rotterdam, where he learned both classic art and guild techniques. Arriving in New York as a stowaway from Holland in 1926, he underwent a long struggle to become a painter and an American, developing a passionate friendship with his fellow immigrant Arshile Gorky, who was both a mentor and an inspiration. During the Depression, de Kooning emerged as a central figure in the bohemian world of downtown New York, surviving by doing commercial work and painting murals for the WPA. His first show at the Egan Gallery in 1948 was a revelation. Soon, the critics Harold Rosenberg and Thomas Hess were championing his work, and de Kooning took his place as the charismatic leader of the New York school--just as American art began to dominate the international scene.<P><P> Dashingly handsome and treated like a movie star on the streets of downtown New York, de Kooning had a tumultuous marriage to Elaine de Kooning, herself a fascinating character of the period. At the height of his fame, he spent his days painting powerful abstractions and intense, disturbing pictures of the female figure--and his nights living on the edge, drinking, womanizing, and talking at the Cedar bar with such friends as Franz Kline and Frank O'Hara. By the 1960s, exhausted by the feverish art world, he retreated to the Springs on Long Island, where he painted an extraordinary series of lush pastorals. In the 1980s, as he slowly declined into what was almost certainly Alzheimer's, he created a vast body of haunting and ethereal late work.<P> This is an authoritative and brilliant exploration of the art, life, and world of an American master.<P> Pulitzer Prize Winner

Extreme Management: What They Teach At Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program

by Mark Stevens

Harvard's AMP (Advanced Management Program) is a ten-week boot camp (six days a week, fourteen hours a day) whose origins are rooted in World War II. During the outset of the war, the then dean of Harvard Business School introduced a regimen to best utilize the capacities of the business and industrial sector to serve the extraordinary demands of a war-time economy. Now, more than fifty years later, the program focuses on teaching how to thrive in the highly competitive and combative global marketplace. Readers will be ushered into the inner sanctum of AMP and learn how to adapt such management principles as: * Creating a sustainable competitive advantage; * Managing for a world of changes yet to come; * Establishing enduring brand and corporate positioning; * Negotiating global transactions; * Mastering conflict in the global arena; * And much more.

Rich is a Religion

by Mark Stevens

If you're stressed about your financial future, stuck at a job that you hate, or feel trapped by your income, Rich Is a Religion is a road map that will help you transform your life. By showing you the mindset of millionaires and billionaires, you'll learn how to make more money than you ever thought possible and how to preserve this money for your entire life. With the insights found here, you'll quickly discover how to create a solid financial base and channel your money to maximize the gift of life.

Your Company Sucks

by Mark Stevens

It's every businessperson's nightmare: his or her company is failing, dysfunctional, stuck in neutral, and/or is disappointing overall, from the finances to the customer feedback.Put bluntly--but candidly--the company sucks.That's the bad news. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way.Every business can rebound from its lows, regain its momentum, thrill its customers, and be the source of pride and profits its owners and shareholders seek.This U-turn must begin with you, the owner or senior manager, declaring war on yourself. You must face the fact that the malaise the business suffers from is ultimately your responsibility and your doing, and even more important,that it will not be rectified unless you take the lead. Face the hard truth. Take the difficult actions. Demonstrate determination, creativity and resolve.This insightful book makes three points clear:1. The key to long term business success is for the leader to declare war on him/herself so that the company never rests on its laurels.2. Only four factors lead to business failure/decline/lack of growth/dysfunctionality. Identifying and addressing these plagues is the focus of the war.3. Customer satisfaction is a curse in disguise. The overwhelming need is to thrill your customers/clients.Your Company Sucks pulls back the curtain on business performance to reveal the four reasons businesses decline. It identifies your company's red flags, and provides a powerful and innovative methodology to transition from failure to flourish. It's not too late to turn your company around--go from sucking to soaring!

Your Marketing Sucks

by Mark Stevens

"Your marketing sucks . . . " What in the world does Mark Stevens mean? For starters, let's take spending camouflaged as marketing. Everyone sees all those expensive, slick, pointless campaigns day after day. Just turn on your TV set and there are all the look-alike ads from Ford, GM, and Chrysler with look-alike cars going down . . . a road. Creative? Probably yes--nice scenery, good-looking people, etc. , etc. But effective? Mark Stevens says absolutely not. Like you're going to spend $30,000 or more for the privilege of seeing a car go down . . . a road? Wouldn't it be easier for the Big Three in Detroit just to open the windows at their ad agencies and throw out gobs of thousand-dollar bills? Don't get Mark Stevens started on marketing that sucks, or he might mention all those oh-so-cool people-in-black at the ad agencies developing campaigns that generate all kinds of buzz--in the advertising community. But not in the marketplace. (Oops. ) Note to advertisers from Mark Stevens: If you have an advertising agency that applies for any kind of an award (Clios, whatever), fire them immediately. They shouldn't be in the business to win ego awards for beautiful ads. They should be creating ads that sell. Period! If they talk about building "mind share," fire them immediately as well. That's just another way of saying they'll camouflage their failure to generate sales behind an intellectual smoke screen. Mark Stevens is the best friend of anyone with a product or service to sell who wants to use marketing as a basis for growing the business. What he provides both entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 types is a hard-nosed, "prove it to me" program that demands accountability for every dollar spent on marketing so that it brings in more revenue or customers, preferably both. Use his program and you won't be throwing money out the window. Your Marketing Sucks is chock-full of practical ideas such as: * Marketing is not about advertising, public relations, or direct mail. It is about growing the revenues, profit, and valuation of the business. * The marketing moratorium. Stop all your marketing for a month and you may be surprised at what happens. Sales have actually risen at some companies, a sure sign that, prior to the moratorium, they were throwing money out the window. * Why the worst ads are actually the best. Start paying attention to the genius of the infomercial and cast a very skeptical eye on the kind of ads you see during the Super Bowl. * Reverse engineer your marketing so that it starts at the point-of-sale. Because nothing happens unless a sale is made. * Employ a swarming offense. Hit customers from every possible angle--print ads, sales displays, e-mails, infomercials. * Pick the low-hanging fruit. Cross-sell to clients and customers. Mark Stevens shows how to conceive an innovative, effective marketing campaign strategy--like Bill Gates's battle cry of "putting a computer on every desk and in every home"--and then monitor the results. The idea is to spend your marketing budget only in ways that will give you a measurable return on your marketing dollars. That's more than good marketing: It's how you grow a business. And that's what this book is all about! From the Hardcover edition.

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