Book Talk
I Love Capitalism by Ken Langone

The cover of Ken Langone’s book depicts him as a blue-collar teenager.

300 Bucks and a Second Chance
300 Bucks and
a Second Chance
by Richard Anderson
Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone ’57, P’83 never intended to pen his memoir, not even after former Creative Artists Agency CEO Michael Ovitz broached the subject at the investment firm Allen & Company’s annual Sun Valley Conference in Idaho four years ago. Even after he met with an editor at Penguin Random House, he wasn’t sold on the idea. But when he saw Bernie Sanders on TV in January 2016, surrounded by young people and championing socialism, Langone quickly changed his mind. “If these kids have given up on capitalism, we’re in trouble,” he thought.
‘I Owe Bucknell $300’
In the opening chapter of I Love Capitalism! An American Story, Langone recounts how he overcame mediocre grades and near-expulsion as a first-year student to graduate from Bucknell a semester early. That wouldn’t have happened without a loan from the University engineered by Martha Henderson, assistant to the dean of students. “The 300 bucks means nothing now, but it made all the difference in the world then,” he says.
The Long and Short of It
The book jacket depicts Langone not as the billionaire and philanthropist he would become, but as a blue-collar teenager who dug ditches for the Long Island Expressway. “I think I was a little more Italian looking than that,” he says, adding, “When they showed me the first draft of the cover, I said I didn’t use a long-handled shovel — I used a short-handled shovel.” His editors liked the symbolism of Langone with his foot on the shovel, so artistic license prevailed.
If He Can Make It There…
“Until the book came out, I was terrified I had a bomb on my hands,” Langone admits. His worries were unfounded: I Love Capitalism! debuted at No. 10 on The New York Times’ Hardcover Nonfiction list in June. “We just made a deal in Japan with one of the big publishers over there,” he notes — and closer to home, “My wife [Elaine] loved the book. She said, ‘That’s the way it happened. That’s Ken.’”

I Love Capitalism! An American Story. Ken Langone ’57, P’83. (Portfolio, 2018) Also available as an audiobook read by Langone.

Alumni Books
Roselyn Letourneau Wilkinson ’87
It’s Good to be Queen: Every Woman’s Pocket Guide to Financial Sovereignty (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018)

Roselyn Wilkinson’s guide — the culmination of years spent in the financial field — is designed to help people take control of their finances. An ardent supporter of women’s empowerment, Wilkinson wants every woman to have the opportunity to be financially independent.

John Lavin ’77
Opium Confessions on a Swing (Moonstone Publishing, 2018)

After retiring from a 38-year career in education, John Lavin turned to writing to inform others about problems in schools such as urban poverty and the current drug crisis. This play, Lavin’s first, is part of a greater series of plays and essays he wrote to contribute to the conversation about issues faced by educators and students alike.

Michele Fugere Morris ’81
Poco a Poco (Outskirts Press, 2018)

This memoir, written after the tragic loss of husband Greg Morris ’80, follows Michele Fugere Morris’ journey to finding new strength. Supplemented with tales from their love story, which started when the couple met at Bucknell, the book is filled with raw emotion. It is a story of loss, but above all, it is a story of overcoming that loss and looking forward.

faculty BOOKS
Linden Lewis (Sociology)
Caribbean Masala: Indian Identity in Guyana and Trinidad (University Press of Mississippi, 2018)

Professor Linden Lewis and co-author Dave Ramsaran use the lens of sociology to explore what it means to be of Indian heritage in the Caribbean. This particular identity is slowly disappearing as the Indian community assimilates into other dominant cultures in the region. Lewis and Ramsaran provide insight into the daily lives and traditions of this ethnic group.