President Bill Clinton calls him "one of our finest public citizens," and Hillary Rodham Clinton says he is "always focused on solutions." Secretary of State John Kerry admires the way he "thinks unselfishly and strategically," and former Secretary of State Colin Powell attests that "no one had a better reputation for honesty and fairness." He is visionary industrialist and philanthropist Bernard L. Schwartz, and his book - part memoir, part prescription for a better America in politics and business - is JUST SAY YES: What I've Learned About Life, Luck, and the Pursuit of Opportunity (available beginning March 28, 2014, wherever books are sold).
JUST SAY YES is a story about a boy raised in Depression-era Brooklyn who grew up to become a giant in the aerospace business as the CEO and Chairman of the defense electronics firm Loral; a confidante of U.S. presidents; and a renowned international dealmaker. Schwartz was known in business for his no-nonsense style, his shrewd instinct for making a deal, and his advocacy for and empowerment of his workers. He was known in both business and politics for his integrity, and his efforts to make sure that he and his company were doing the right thing - including, for example, paying back Loral's creditors in full after reorganizing under federal bankruptcy law. Two years later, the company was the largest and strongest commercial satellite manufacturer in the world.
Schwartz has always maintained his dual role as "outsider" and an "insider" in politics and business. A defense industry leader who was also an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, Schwartz writes, "I was - how should I put this? - not a typical member of the military-industrial complex. But my attitude was, So what?" He is a long-time supporter of the Democratic Party and a trusted friend of its leaders, building those relationships while maintaining a critical view of their policy.
In JUST SAY YES Schwartz tells the story of his life and career, but he also offers his vision for how America should operate to benefit all of its citizens. He is incredibly troubled by how the gap between the have's and have-not's has grown. Far too much emphasis is put on money and profit, instead of treating clients and customers as human beings. Our political leaders must also come back to the table, and start working together to improve the lives of all citizens. Without this, Schwartz fears that our society will decline, and America's glory days will remain behind us. This "optimist by nature" believes that American politics and business can change for the better, however. He has seen great strides in our culture in his life, and if we can right the ship, the best is yet to come.
JUST SAY YES Interview
Charlie Rose interviews Bernard Schwartz about "Just Say Yes" at New-York Historical Society on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
Bernard Schwartz discusses his book and his ideologies with Bill Baker, President Emeritus of THIRTEEN, NYC's public media station on March 13, 2014.
Reviews and Other Media Coverage
|© 2007 Bernard L. Schwartz|