"Damn Right! Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger" by Janet Lowe

Brian Gongol

Janet Lowe has written about some of the most interesting business personalities: Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Benjamin Graham. In "Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger", she focuses on Charlie Munger, undoubtedly one of the most colorful individuals in that world. Munger's public personality (to the extent that he is known) is acerbic, perhaps even bordering on crotchety. But Munger is the product of decades of focus and attention to self-betterment, particularly in an attempt to emulate Benjamin Franklin with modern graces. He may be widely known as Warren Buffett's sidekick, but Munger is legitimately a first-class thinker (and not just about business) in his own right. Lowe does an excellent job of capturing his personality, but more importantly, she capably documents his values. Munger may not be a moralist of a religious stripe, but he is very clearly an ethicist. It may not come out explicitly in Lowe's biography of Munger, but it seems safe to assume that he would reject the concept of "business ethics" as a specialty, but rather insist that one must be ethical at all times, with no exceptions or special interpretations for business. And in that, Munger is legitimately a moral giant.

Verdict: Essential reading for devotees of value investing, and strongly endorsed for anyone with an interest in either business or biography. (Lowe herself calls "Damn Right!" her favorite work.)