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Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire


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Michael T. Kaufman was a reporter, editor, columnist, and foreign correspondent during his 40 years with the New York Times. He has won a George Polk Award for his journalism and was a Guggenheim Fellow. This is his sixth book. He lives in New York City.

Photo (c) Librado Romero

The first biography of George Soros written with his cooperation--a dramatic story of the capitalistic genius who has become the leading philanthropist of our time.

In a fascinating narrative, we follow Soros from European dislocation to unfathomable success and wealth. Born into a Jewish family in Budapest, he was on his own by age 14, passing as an Aryan to survive World War II. As a penniless 17-year-old in London, he dreamed both of personal glory and making the world less harsh. Ambition and opportunity drove him to Wall Street, where he arrived in 1956. Soon he was "the greatest money manager in the world." In his early 50s, restless and having made his fortune, Soros turned to doing good as a full-time occupation, showing the same energy, imagination, and courage in spending his money as he had in making it. He has invested more than $1 billion worldwide through his Open Society foundations, undermining the kind of totalitarianism he knew in his youth. Kaufman reveals how Soros became a key figure in accelerating the collapse of communism, while minimizing the trauma of transition, and how his work continues today.

Packed with event and character, this is the story of a remarkable, brilliant, hugely generous, but--until now--little-understood man.

"George Soros's story is full of drama and determination, personal growth and bold action, idealism and big money, failures and soaring successes. If you learn what makes him tick, you will understand more about all of us. Kaufman has written an excellent book."

--Bill Bradley

"In this compelling portrait Michael Kaufman reveals the unknown and unexpected George Soros."
--Kati Marton