Reflections by award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett, author of many books about the sea
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Saturday, May 22, 2010
CORPORATE RAIDER COMES TO THE RESCUE OF BORDERS
As so often happens, Jason Boog of GalleyCat is the man to break the news. Corporate raider Bennett S. LeBow, chairman of the Vector Group, among a number of other bodies (pictured right), has invested twenty-five million in the struggling bookseller, purchasing just over eleven million shares. Naturally, he was invited to join the Board of Directors, and was immediately elected Chairman, the current man, Richard MCGuire, stepping down.
LeBow's career is worthy of a book. Back in the 1960s he started a computer company, which designed and installed data systems for the Pentagon. He sold out in 1971 to move into the high-tension life of a fulltime investor/trader, becoming heavily involved in the cigarette industry. This led to some controversy, as the was the first "tobacco man" to break ranks and acknowledge the harmful effects of smoking.
Perhaps he will bring the same fresh breath of revolutionary thinking to the bookselling trade.