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From the Ground Up

A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America
Written by: Howard Schultz
Narrated by: Howard Schultz
Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

From the longtime CEO and chairman of Starbucks, a bold, dramatic work about the new responsibilities that leaders, businesses, and citizens share in American society today - as viewed through the intimate lens of one man’s life and work. 

What do we owe one another? How do we channel our drive, ingenuity, even our pain, into something more meaningful than individual success? And what is our duty in the places where we live, work, and play? These questions are at the heart of the American journey. They are also ones that Howard Schultz has grappled with personally since growing up in the Brooklyn housing projects and while building Starbucks from 11 stores into one of the world’s most iconic brands. 

In From the Ground Up, Schultz looks for answers in two interwoven narratives. One story shows how his conflicted boyhood - including experiences he has never before revealed - motivated Schultz to become the first in his family to graduate from college, then to build the kind of company his father, a working-class laborer, never had a chance to work for: a business that tries to balance profit and human dignity. 

A parallel story offers a behind-the-scenes look at Schultz’s unconventional efforts to challenge old notions about the role of business in society. From health insurance and free college tuition for part-time baristas to controversial initiatives about race and refugees, Schultz and his team tackled societal issues with the same creativity and rigor they applied to changing how the world consumes coffee. 

Throughout the book, Schultz introduces a cross-section of Americans transforming common struggles into shared successes. In this audiobook, lost youth find first jobs, aspiring college students overcome the yoke of debt, post-9/11 warriors replace lost limbs with indomitable spirit, former coal miners and opioid addicts pave fresh paths, entrepreneurs jump-start dreams, and better angels emerge from all corners of the country. 

From the Ground Up is part candid memoir, part uplifting blueprint of mutual responsibility, and part proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. At its heart, it’s an optimistic, inspiring account of what happens when we stand up, speak out, and come together for purposes bigger than ourselves. Here is a new vision of what can be when we try our best to lead lives through the lens of humanity. 

“Howard Schultz’s story is a clear reminder that success is not achieved through individual determination alone, but through partnership and community. Howard’s commitment to both have helped him build one of the world’s most recognized brands. It will be exciting to see what he accomplishes next.” (Bill Gates)

©2019 Howard Schultz (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Howard Schultz’s story is a clear reminder that success is not achieved through individual determination alone, but through partnership and community. Howard’s commitment to both have helped him build one of the world’s most recognized brands. It will be exciting to see what he accomplishes next.” (Bill Gates)

From the Ground Up will resonate with anyone who knows what it’s like to overcome adversity. Howard Schultz’s dream to make the world more fair and welcoming for everyone is truly a breath of fresh air.” (Serena Williams)

“Howard Schultz has written a compelling and moving story about how his childhood hardships influenced his creation of Starbucks and inspired him to create a company with a social conscience. Schultz offers powerful lessons about how companies can help address social problems and how we as a society can come together to ensure that every American has the opportunities open to a poor boy from Canarsie - to see the world ‘not as it was, but as it could be." (Secretary Robert Gates)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ch.U.
  • 2019-06-24

Campaign propaganda ?

I did listen to the entire audiobook because I enjoyed his other book, Onward, so much. Several thoughts kept nagging me throughout the listen. First, this seemed too geared (perhaps intentionally) to be a primer to his run for President and I kept thinking that this book should have been on Audibles free offerings. Next, he seems to hav a lot of guilt mainly for having money, not serving in the military and being white. Finally he offers no solutions to reimagine America as written in the title. When he announced his Presidential run I thought he may be a candidate with a lot to offer, but now I feel his run it mainly to alleviate his inner demons, not make a better country, sorry Howard and good luck!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-21

Just ok

The content of this book was useful and interesting at times, downside of this audiobook is the performance of the reader. The performance distracted from the content. It was lifeless and made listening to it a difficult challenge. I could not finish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim Lenihan
  • 2019-02-01

Fantastic Perspective and Insight

This book was a purchase choice to learn more about a potential candidate for our presidency. I found the book incredibly insightful, meaningful and found it hard to put it down.
The broad range of topics leaves a message for everyone.
It was refreshing to read about current topics with little bias and broad perspective.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Crumpler
  • 2019-02-01

Please Run

Howard Schultz is the textbook American success story of how a poor boy from a dysfunctional home in Brooklyn can rise above the odds and create a business that values kindness and sustainability. Starbucks has been at the forefront of compassionate capitalism. I desperately long for a moderate liberal candidate with the ideals of Mr. Schultz, and I pray that he runs and that he wins the presidency. He is a good man.

11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Madison Phillips
  • 2019-02-02

Uplifting Listen

As I listened to this book, Mr. Schultz made the rounds on TV answering questions about a potential 2020 run. The deeper I got into his story, the more compelling I found him to be. In the book, the stories clearly portray a hardworking man of integrity who is also open and reflective about his own mistakes. Mr Schultz comes across as genuinely trying to do the right thing and to be open to outside perspectives and input in forming plans and policies. I appreciated hearing the life journey of someone who came from the projects and genuinely cares about the disadvantaged in our society and has put both his money and time into lifting others as well as shining a spotlight on others who are solving problems in thoughtful innovative ways. As a fellow American blessed with so many opportunities in this country, I find myself pushed to contribute more to my community after hearing this story. As a mother of four little girls, I so wish we had someone like Mr. Schultz leading the country that they are growing up in and making decisions that will form the world they inherit from our generation.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Bailey Lammon
  • 2019-02-01

Incredible

What an incredible story of a true American making real differences in our country, fighting for all the right reasons: people. Bipartisanship needs to come to an end and Howard is the perfect person to do it.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian A. Rubino
  • 2019-10-15

This was a book on politics.

If you enjoy that sort of Biography, this book is for you. I would have enjoyed hearing more of the business side of his journey.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy
  • 2019-06-22

first half great second half not

the beginning of the book wad really good. the second half of the book was really bad.

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  • damien del rio
  • 2019-03-07

Reads like a public manifesto

I tried my best to get through the entire book. It just feels like propoganda for his upcoming run. I could have waited to hear this on the campaign trail.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marilyn I.
  • 2019-02-06

. If you 're American you won't be disappointed.

I truly enjoyed this book. Both the narration as well as the content.
I was sorry to come to the end. I am happy to recommend this to my family and friends.
Good for you Mr. Schultz, you've got my vote.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful