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Through the Fires: An American Business Story of Turbulence, Triumph and Giving Back

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This is a triumphant story of comeback in life and business. Robert Carr experienced decades of struggle that took him to the brink of home foreclosure at age fifty. He would later make a fortune in the card payments industry, only to lose almost everything in 2009, after one of the most devastating data breaches ever. Daring to go public about the cyberattack, Carr saved This is a triumphant story of comeback in life and business. Robert Carr experienced decades of struggle that took him to the brink of home foreclosure at age fifty. He would later make a fortune in the card payments industry, only to lose almost everything in 2009, after one of the most devastating data breaches ever. Daring to go public about the cyberattack, Carr saved his company from potential ruin and fought his way back to prosperity. A man who rose from a hardscrabble upbringing in the Illinois countryside, he kept a promise to devote his financial success largely to young people from modest backgrounds. The Give Something Back Foundation, which he created as an expression of gratitude for a $250 scholarship he received as a high school senior, is on pace to pay college costs for some 1,000 students. Not everyone will be happy with this book. In stark detail, Carr skewers the unethical business practices of many in the financial world that he believes prey on those who can least afford it. He challenges business schools to do more to promote the importance of fairness and honesty. He delivers a capitalist's critique of capitalism, as it is often practiced today, and challenges stockholders to hold companies to higher standards in the way they treat people. Unflinchingly revealing, Carr describes the experience of being scorned and ridiculed by an abusive father. And he pays tribute to a mother, a night shift waitress, whose wisdom and sense of fairness helped shape the ethic and culture of his successful company. In an interview on the television show, Mad Money, Mr. Carr was praised by host Jim Cramer for his honesty and commitment to employees after the disastrous breach. This is a CEO for the underdog. He offers inspiration that an idealist, despite being repeatedly knocked down along the way, can ultimately thrive and do a bit to make the world a little better.


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This is a triumphant story of comeback in life and business. Robert Carr experienced decades of struggle that took him to the brink of home foreclosure at age fifty. He would later make a fortune in the card payments industry, only to lose almost everything in 2009, after one of the most devastating data breaches ever. Daring to go public about the cyberattack, Carr saved This is a triumphant story of comeback in life and business. Robert Carr experienced decades of struggle that took him to the brink of home foreclosure at age fifty. He would later make a fortune in the card payments industry, only to lose almost everything in 2009, after one of the most devastating data breaches ever. Daring to go public about the cyberattack, Carr saved his company from potential ruin and fought his way back to prosperity. A man who rose from a hardscrabble upbringing in the Illinois countryside, he kept a promise to devote his financial success largely to young people from modest backgrounds. The Give Something Back Foundation, which he created as an expression of gratitude for a $250 scholarship he received as a high school senior, is on pace to pay college costs for some 1,000 students. Not everyone will be happy with this book. In stark detail, Carr skewers the unethical business practices of many in the financial world that he believes prey on those who can least afford it. He challenges business schools to do more to promote the importance of fairness and honesty. He delivers a capitalist's critique of capitalism, as it is often practiced today, and challenges stockholders to hold companies to higher standards in the way they treat people. Unflinchingly revealing, Carr describes the experience of being scorned and ridiculed by an abusive father. And he pays tribute to a mother, a night shift waitress, whose wisdom and sense of fairness helped shape the ethic and culture of his successful company. In an interview on the television show, Mad Money, Mr. Carr was praised by host Jim Cramer for his honesty and commitment to employees after the disastrous breach. This is a CEO for the underdog. He offers inspiration that an idealist, despite being repeatedly knocked down along the way, can ultimately thrive and do a bit to make the world a little better.

30 review for Through the Fires: An American Business Story of Turbulence, Triumph and Giving Back

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mitch Albom

    Through the Fires defines what it means to overcome adversity in business and life

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    It's A Stunning Tribute and Love Story: I found this book as a stunning tribute to Robert Carr's mother - from a son who learned about kindness, hardwork, love and resiliency from his mother. When he wrote about the call center and how he felt about how the employees there were standing on the shoulders of his mother and would be treated as such, I was blown away. This is a man who truly has a good soul and is a leader in business. The two seem nearly incompatible these days but half of the book It's A Stunning Tribute and Love Story: I found this book as a stunning tribute to Robert Carr's mother - from a son who learned about kindness, hardwork, love and resiliency from his mother. When he wrote about the call center and how he felt about how the employees there were standing on the shoulders of his mother and would be treated as such, I was blown away. This is a man who truly has a good soul and is a leader in business. The two seem nearly incompatible these days but half of the book is not just his achievements, but the achievements of young teenagers he helped to get an education and they went on to greatness. Robert Carr's rise from gentle beginnings to being a pioneer of industry, and how he has maintained his integrity along the way, is a story everyone should know, celebrate, and lift a glass and toast to his mother.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vishnum

    nice book

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Love it! Business ethics bible has been written. I love this book. Robert Carr is truly an inspiration. The way he built Heartland and treats the employees is how all companies should be. I admire Robert Carr both in business and for his generosity to the world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bbudish

  6. 5 out of 5

    Becky Goss

  7. 5 out of 5

    margaret cooper

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Milligan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charles Franklin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Rose

  13. 5 out of 5

    lena

  14. 5 out of 5

    COLLEEN MANFRED

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gary Hadsall

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Steerzer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adam Paul Connaughton

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diane Habiger

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hemlata a patel

  20. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Lundin

  21. 5 out of 5

    Phil

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

  23. 4 out of 5

    geri de moss

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lyons

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joddi Thompson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Massey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donna Ross

  28. 4 out of 5

    Esp0000

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janos Racz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tom Hooyman

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