A Fortune 500 Founder and CEO Tells the Story of His Life, from Victim of War to Victor on Wall Street
Email this review


 Technology magnate Zandman--founder of an enterprise doing $1 billion in sales each year, employer of more than 16,000 people in 11 countries, and at the core, Holocaust survivor--tells his story graphically. Zandman came of age in Hell. As a youth, he witnessed the extermination of Polish Jewry by the Nazis. Helpless, he watched his beloved grandfather, with three infants in his arms, taken from their home in Grodno to the gas chambers. Virtually his entire family gone, teenage Felix, an uncle, and a newly married couple were all hidden beneath the cottage of a courageous peasant family, in a hole dug under the floorboards. (The penalty for hiding Jews, of course, was immediate execution.) There they lived in fear for 17 months. Time after time Zandman escaped death. That's the first part of the memoir and it is compelling; his portraits of a gentle and wise family, of a ghetto packed with innocents, and of a historic civilization--all now gone forever--are powerful ones. His story then shifts to France after the war and a professional education, thence to America and his business adventures (starting, ironically, with a new method of measuring stress). Leveraging, merging, acquiring, incorporating, Zandman made himself into the quintessential tycoon. With perhaps pardonable pride (especially regarding his operations in Israel) the author (aided by Chanoff, coauthor of Portrait of the Enemy, 1986) presents his history of his firm, Vishay Intertechnology, and the commercial acumen that built it. The business bio is not a bad tale, but not nearly as arresting as the searing remembrance of his earlier days when survival was all. The two books are fused together for a unique addition the literature of the Holocaust. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: June 7th, 1995
ISBN: 0-8052-4128-0
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Schocken
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995


NonfictionSINGING WAS THE EASY PART by Vic Damone
by Vic Damone
NonfictionHACKER CRACKER by Ejovi Nuwere
by Ejovi Nuwere
NonfictionJOYCELYN ELDERS, M.D. by Joycelyn Elders
by Joycelyn Elders