Branson: Behind The Mask

The image remains pristine: a charismatic high-school dropout turned billionaire, whose stratospheric rise and daring exploits have won him millions of enduring admirers and made him a model for aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the world.

But is this story still credible? Over the last decade, has Branson matched the expectations perpetuated by Virgin's relentless publicity machine?

Or have we all been seduced by a brilliant showman?

In his most explosive book to date, Tom Bower, best selling biographer of Simon Cowell, Bernie Ecclestone, Conrad Black and Robert Maxwell, dares to explore the reality of the Branson empire. 

In doing so, he unravels the gripping story of his recent activities - from the astonishing success of mobile phones to his troubled airlines and his long delayed plan to send multimillionaires into space - and asks whether he really remains Britain's heroic buccaneer.

I think all journalists would benefit from reading Branson: Behind the Mask... Bower paints Branson as a showman who often fails to live up to his promises. (Roy Greenslade Guardian)

The book is subtitled Behind the Mask. Like in The Wizard of Oz, Bower is suggesting that behind the mask is nothing but a flim-flam merchant selling fantasies. (Nicholas Blincoe Daily Telegraph)

Nuggets of pure gold from original reporting. (Dominic O’Connell Sunday Times)

A great Amazon review:

There is part of me that is upset at the details revealed in this book (like finding out that Father Christmas isn't real!) but there is also a part that finally understands why the daily commute into London with Virgin trains is such a pain!

Having read "Losing my viginity", "The Virgin King" and "Dirty Tricks", it was nice to see some balance added to the Richard Branson myth! 
The authorised books obviously record the story from Richard's perspective and Tom Bower delves behind the hyperbole to uncover an fascinating view of the Virgin empire.

I was already a fan of Tom Bower's work - once again he has produced a highly readable, interesting book.