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Robert Spekman's Book Recommendations

Reading List:

CROSSING TO SAFETY by Wallace Stegner

"Wallace Stegner was a writer's writer who won both a National Book Award and a Pulitzer. This book is partly autobiographical and traces the history of two couples whose husbands meet in grad school and then remain friends over the next 35 years. The book is about the loyalty and lifelong friendships between these two couples. Interestingly, when I moved to Charlottesville 12 years ago, we were invited to dinner at our neighbors our first night in our home. When you meet people, you talk about kids, jobs, what you like to read, etc. I mentioned I had just finished reading this wonderful book, and then asked, "Maybe you have heard of Stegner?" The reply was, "Oh, you mean Uncle Wally." The wife of the couple was the daughter of one of the families in the book and was a character in the story."

UNDAUNTED COURAGE by Stephen Ambrose

"I was so struck by this book that I went back and read the original journals. To explore and report back your findings (from geology to biology, to ecology, to sociology) placed Lewis and Clark as the eyes and ears of Thomas Jefferson. What an honor and a challenge! While there was no water route to the Pacific, their expedition truly began our attraction to the west. Perhaps "Go west, young man" began here!"


"Both books depict the lives of extraordinary people in the 20th century whose actions as statesmen, scientists, artists, or business people changed the course of modern history and/or reinvented disciplines, paradigms, etc. Leading Minds includes biographies of Gandhi, Oppenheimer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Alfred Sloan, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Margaret Mead to name a few. Creative Minds includes such people as Einstein, Picasso, Freud, and Stravinsky. Both books provide insight into components of leadership and creativity that made these people the leaders they were. Gardner offers a different perspective on these topics than would typically be found in a business book on leadership and creativity."

Biographical Info:

Robert E. Spekman, Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration, is an internationally recognized authority on business-to-business marketing, supply chain/channels management, and strategic alliances. His consulting experiences range from marketing research and competitive analysis, to strategic market planning, supply chain management, channels of distribution design and implementation, and strategic partnering. In addition to teaching MBA courses, his executive program experience includes general marketing strategy, sales force management, channels strategy, creating strategic alliances, and business-to-business marketing strategy. He has edited/written seven books and has authored (co-authored) over 80 articles and papers.

Spekman, who joined the Darden faculty in 1991, previously taught at the University of Southern California, University of Maryland, and the Norwegian School of Business Administration and Economics.

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