From the Ground Up
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 eleven 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 these pages, 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

From the Ground Up Details

TitleFrom the Ground Up
Author
ReleaseJan 28th, 2019
PublisherRandom House
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Politics, Business, Biography, Entrepreneurship, Autobiography, Memoir

From the Ground Up Review

  • LeeAnn Balbirona
    January 1, 1970
    Read this in one sitting, over several hours and four cups of coffee. Some tough stuff in here; genuinely moving, personal stories. I appreciated the thorough coverage of his/Starbucks’ missteps as well as his successes.
  • Chris Norbury
    January 1, 1970
    I read this after Schultz announced he was running for President as an independent. Since I'm neither a democrat or a republican, I'm usually more interested in what an indie has to say.The book is laid out roughly chronologically in the beginning but jumps around from issue to issue more in the rest of the book. I admire Schultz's rise from relative poverty and dysfunctional home life. He has tried some innovative things at Starbucks, for which he gets huge props. That tells me he'd be open to I read this after Schultz announced he was running for President as an independent. Since I'm neither a democrat or a republican, I'm usually more interested in what an indie has to say.The book is laid out roughly chronologically in the beginning but jumps around from issue to issue more in the rest of the book. I admire Schultz's rise from relative poverty and dysfunctional home life. He has tried some innovative things at Starbucks, for which he gets huge props. That tells me he'd be open to thinking-outside-the-box solutions to problems if he somehow got elected POTUS.Despite those innovative ideas and courage to seek solutions to chronic social problems like racism, equality, affordable education and health care, the man comes across as a bit bland. Goodhearted--yes. Well-intentioned--yes. But charismatic--not so much.I hope he lasts a long time in the campaign and forces fresh debate on the topics the dems and reps have been dancing around for decades. And who knows? One businessman with no political experience just got elected. Why not a second? Personality-wise, Schultz would be a quantum leap breath of fresh air compared to what we have today.
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  • Stevo Brock
    January 1, 1970
    This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 1/27, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet. You can find me at http://forums.delphiforums.com/stevo1 (or search for me on Google) for many more reviews and recommendations.
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  • Annie Aine
    January 1, 1970
    At the heart of this polemic is the lie of Snowpiercer: that once the glorious Revolutionary Leader takes control of the Engine from the evil Political Class, his just and benevolent hand will restore the world. Also, this is a billionaire who will beat the piñata of his dead parents to elicit pity from the public. And he likes to beat that piñata, including using the funeral of his mother to try to earn votes. Which is something to keep in mind as you plow through Schultz's newest book. At firs At the heart of this polemic is the lie of Snowpiercer: that once the glorious Revolutionary Leader takes control of the Engine from the evil Political Class, his just and benevolent hand will restore the world. Also, this is a billionaire who will beat the piñata of his dead parents to elicit pity from the public. And he likes to beat that piñata, including using the funeral of his mother to try to earn votes. Which is something to keep in mind as you plow through Schultz's newest book. At first, the meandering narrative seems poorly managed.... until you realize how much dog-whistling is going on, and how much of his years after his return to Starbucks have been spent working on credentials for a possible Presidential run. Undeniably, Schultz has done well by many people, but at the heart of it all, he is as much a political creature desiring the reward of power as the "political class" he decries. And in between the hard work of other people's lives, is the dog-whistling. While many have noted Schultz' prominent promise to make the national debt the core of his Presidential run, there are plenty of other winks. He will not reinstate environmental protections or address global warming. He will not address human rights violations outside of the United States. He will lower government spending without touching the military budget. Public money will be handed over to private businesses wholesale in the pursuit of economic growth. The government will not intervene in the pricing of pharmaceuticals. There will be no regulation of the financial markets.He literally thinks Democrats will vote for him because we like Starbucks.And Schultz is not shy about the myths and lies that he is willing to embrace in the pursuit of the highest office in the land. The war in Iraq (2003-2010) cost the U.S. over one trillion dollars, and came about as a result of lies and treason on the part of our military and intelligence services- not "faulty intelligence and wrongheaded assumptions." But he will not allow the military to be questioned about it- now or ever- because think of the soldiers. And he continuously castigates the American public as uninformed and ignorant about Iraq. (Dear Reader: that's hardly me, and I doubt you either.) And nowhere does he address the well documented and extensive theft of funds by private businesses and military contractors. Or the civilian death toll. Also, the Great Recession was merely a natural disaster with no real cause that hurt some nice people and shame on the public for not cleaning up the mess. You will not find any admission that the collapse of the financial markets was the cause of inherent corporate greed, predatory loans, toothless regulatory agencies, and Wall Street playing cake-walk. Schultz blames the current political climate on government shutdowns... and not the fact that the public bailed out Wall Street, and several hundred executives weren't given life sentences in federal prison, they just got to skip town to go live out billionaire lifestyles with tax-payer money. And that the public bailed out the economy only to have the rescued businesses close down their factories anyway, and ship their jobs overseas. Yes, General Motors, we're looking at you.We, the American public, do need to start having adult conversations about money and public governance. We hand over more money blind to military contractors than we spend on public education, and no democracy can survive without educating and trusting its voters. Though to be fair, we spend more on legalized gambling than we spend on public education, and we need public leaders willing to talk about that. And this can't be done by someone who thinks city governments exist to build multimillion dollar buildings for a business, for that business to be viable by then selling a product to the public-even if that is tickets to a basketball game.In the end, Schultz' campaign is dead-on-arrival, for largely the same reason that he equates the opinions of the corporate culture of Starbucks at its Seattle headquarters with the opinions of its actual baristas. His promises and efforts are aimed at a few huge political donors, not at any level of grassroots necessary to run a campaign. The rage of the youth vote against the War in Iraq was a huge part in the 2008 election. Likewise, the feeling that its pointless to build a future that the financial elite will destroy again was a large part of the 2016 elections. My mortgage bill is sitting on my coffee table; so are the dozen mortgage scam offers I've gotten so far this month. And a smattering of references to Twitter doesn't conceal his disconnect with this country.TLDR: Get a bottle of vodka and take a shot every time you identify someone in this fantasy league of Promised Cabinet Positions.
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  • Jerome VanSchaik
    January 1, 1970
    Reading From the Ground Up was a very personal experience for me. You see, my life has been greatly affected by Howard Schultz every day since working for Starbucks from 1990- 1994. I say everyday because if I had stayed at Starbucks, based on the number of options granted to me at the time, I would be a millionaire as of last year, that being the 25th anniversary of the Starbucks IPO. I think about that every day. Howard’s decision to provide healthcare for nearly all Starbucks employees helpe Reading From the Ground Up was a very personal experience for me. You see, my life has been greatly affected by Howard Schultz every day since working for Starbucks from 1990- 1994. I say everyday because if I had stayed at Starbucks, based on the number of options granted to me at the time, I would be a millionaire as of last year, that being the 25th anniversary of the Starbucks IPO. I think about that every day. Howard’s decision to provide healthcare for nearly all Starbucks employees helped me pay for the birth of my two oldest children, whom I also think about everyday. The above is part of what informs my own historical fiction novel, Tripio, which takes places at a Chicago Starbucks in 1992 and features a scene where I actually meet Howard on stage to receive a Bean Stock Bravo award. I am not trying to sell my own book here, simply attempting to put this review in context. And that to me means, to some degree, visualizing Howard as president, which this book clearly wants the reader to do. To this day, the Starbucks of the early 90s was the most inclusive, empowering and energizing workplace I have experienced. I don’t think most people would describe today’s White House and, by extension this country in those terms. The book itself covers milestones in Howard’s life chapter by chapter, in mostly chronological order. Howard gives example after example of listening to and including the people around him in order to get things done. His background is authentically humble. He is straightforward in admitting his and Starbuck’s mistakes and faults. The book overall gave me the impression of someone who can understand and relate to most of the country because he does share the pains he experienced relating to not having had enough money growing up. I felt that From the Ground Up further humanized Howard for me, likely another goal of its writing. I could relate to his own upbringing as a son of a working class father. I saw a lot familiar to me in Howard’s post college lack of guidance and direction. I understood what he was trying to say when he devotes a small section to writing that he wished that he and his father had been more able to talk when his father was alive. I think Howard’s’ book succeeds in that he is able to get me, the reader, to become energized by his vision for America. Of course, in my case, I may not be completely objective since Howard, at one time, gave me a shot at becoming a millionaire.
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  • Dani Rumsey
    January 1, 1970
    ”Every day, human joys, routines, and even traumas take place in our stores: People young and old celebrate birthdays. They visit with friends and relatives in person and online. They come in before work, between classes, and after church. They go on first dates and kiss while waiting in line. They open laptops to surf, shop, pay bills, and do homework. They read The New York Times and stream Fox News. They cry quietly. Laugh out loud. Get mad. They listen to hip-hop on headphones, and to sympho ”Every day, human joys, routines, and even traumas take place in our stores: People young and old celebrate birthdays. They visit with friends and relatives in person and online. They come in before work, between classes, and after church. They go on first dates and kiss while waiting in line. They open laptops to surf, shop, pay bills, and do homework. They read The New York Times and stream Fox News. They cry quietly. Laugh out loud. Get mad. They listen to hip-hop on headphones, and to symphonies and podcasts and books. They argue about politics. They attract attention and keep to themselves. They cut business deals and rock babies. The unemployed have sat for hours at a table because they have nowhere else to be. People without homes have slept on our chairs. Those struggling with mental illness have wandered in lost. Drug users have shot up and smoked in our bathrooms; some have died. People have robbed our registers at gun point, protested, and caused fellow human beings discomfort in ways seen and unseen. What happens in America happens at Starbucks.” Howard Schultz has made a name for himself: first as the king of coffee, and now as a potential presidential nominee. There’s a fair amount of people out there saying that another billionaire has no place in office, and based on the track record of the current one I can see why they’re responding that way. While I don’t know how a presidential run will pan out for Schultz, what I do know is this: Schultz has written a heartfelt and genuine account of his own life, his successes and failures, all while highlighting stories of some of America’s most inspiring citizens. It’s clear he cares for this country, and even if this book isn’t the night before the dawn of his political success it is a wonderful reminder of the important things.
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  • Bob Crawford
    January 1, 1970
    I have this reoccurring nightmare. I’m back in high school and my classmates line the walls of the gym, right against the walls on all sides and I’m forced to stand before them right in the middle, all staring at the lonely boy in the center.Maybe that’s a metaphor for our American life today - too many judgmental radicals on all sides and too few seeking common ground in the middle.Howard Schultz doesn’t see it that way. He finds hardworking, noble common people ready to live up to America’s pr I have this reoccurring nightmare. I’m back in high school and my classmates line the walls of the gym, right against the walls on all sides and I’m forced to stand before them right in the middle, all staring at the lonely boy in the center.Maybe that’s a metaphor for our American life today - too many judgmental radicals on all sides and too few seeking common ground in the middle.Howard Schultz doesn’t see it that way. He finds hardworking, noble common people ready to live up to America’s promise around every corner and sees our salvation in them.Writing this book may be his intro into a run for president - who knows - but regardless, his perspective is valid and affirming. He reminds us that America doesn’t need to be great again, it never lost that capacity, but we could stand to reimagine what that “greatness” should look like. And more than likely, a successful re-imagination won’t come from blowhard politicians but from decent, hardworking people with boots on the ground and their hearts rooted in love ... and honest compromise.This book can remind us of our goodness.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Like minds think alike so for Howard he's in good company running for President among the other billionaires. After all it takes money to even enter the race but what about the promises he offers, what about his childhood, what about his innovative ideas for a better world .Well, he is candid, he is direct, he is open to conversation and has tried and failed while opening admitting his failures so kudos for honesty.On the idea of racial relations, assisting veterans after they return to US soil, Like minds think alike so for Howard he's in good company running for President among the other billionaires. After all it takes money to even enter the race but what about the promises he offers, what about his childhood, what about his innovative ideas for a better world .Well, he is candid, he is direct, he is open to conversation and has tried and failed while opening admitting his failures so kudos for honesty.On the idea of racial relations, assisting veterans after they return to US soil, on the notion that their is hope for those who feel all hope is lost may be a harder pill to swallow.Starbucks is just part of his story, and he tells it in length but did you know about his ownership of the Sonics and how it was sold before it was no longer profitable.It truly is for the love of money, rags to riches, and the top 1% seeks higher stakes for additional wealth story.So folks remember when voting don't vote with heart but vote with intellect.Read between the lines and know the character of the man because ultimately that is what matters most in any race.
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  • Roy Murry
    January 1, 1970
    From the Ground UpHOWARD SCHULTZReview by Roy Murry, AuthorWhen I read, I like to be entertained or learn something. I didn't enjoy Mr. Schultz's history lesson about Starbucks.I do not know what I expected, but the chronicles of a company and its CEO is what I got. The story went deep into his management style which shows he does have the abilities to start a company and bring it to fruition. To run the USA is another question.He makes his points but embellishes on each way too much to the near From the Ground UpHOWARD SCHULTZReview by Roy Murry, AuthorWhen I read, I like to be entertained or learn something. I didn't enjoy Mr. Schultz's history lesson about Starbucks.I do not know what I expected, but the chronicles of a company and its CEO is what I got. The story went deep into his management style which shows he does have the abilities to start a company and bring it to fruition. To run the USA is another question.He makes his points but embellishes on each way too much to the near boredom. Other than that, the writing was easy to follow, and the story is somewhat unusual.I admit though; I did not finish the story because of what I just stated. I started to read 'From the Ground UP' because of Mr. Schultz's claim that he may run for President of the United States of America.It was my error reading his book, and his mistake if he runs for President as an Independent candidate.
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  • Tangled in Text
    January 1, 1970
    Well this was extremely political. I had no idea the depths Starbucks has gone through to make sure it is respectful and accommodating to all. They definitely try to support everyone and are volunteering for callings bigger than themselves making sure not only their employees, but America thrives. Some things they have done seem like they went a little too far, but I applaud them for deciding to confront all issues heart first and head strong. From racism to unemployment to veterans they have go Well this was extremely political. I had no idea the depths Starbucks has gone through to make sure it is respectful and accommodating to all. They definitely try to support everyone and are volunteering for callings bigger than themselves making sure not only their employees, but America thrives. Some things they have done seem like they went a little too far, but I applaud them for deciding to confront all issues heart first and head strong. From racism to unemployment to veterans they have gone above and beyond. I was able to get some personal background on Starbucks' former CEO and also an overview of the companies evolution. I've wanted to work at Starbucks solely to learn how they make my life blood that consists of Caramel Macchiatos and White Chocolate Mochas, but after reading this book I want to be apart of this family for so many more reasons. They seem to truly care about their work force and have a great sense of community!
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  • Mitchell Wakefield
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate Howard’s vision for creating a company that has social corporate responsibility at the forefront of decision making, however this book came off heavy handed at times. I enjoyed reading about his upheavals and learnings that come with building a successful business (I loved his first book ‘Pour Your Heart Into It’) but at times this book came off as trying to hard to hit political checkbox talking points. During some chapters it felt painfully obvious this book is a part of the proce I appreciate Howard’s vision for creating a company that has social corporate responsibility at the forefront of decision making, however this book came off heavy handed at times. I enjoyed reading about his upheavals and learnings that come with building a successful business (I loved his first book ‘Pour Your Heart Into It’) but at times this book came off as trying to hard to hit political checkbox talking points. During some chapters it felt painfully obvious this book is a part of the process in his feeler campaign for running for president.With that said it was an enjoyable read and throughout every page I really appreciate Howard’s moral backbone and authenticity for civic duty and making America a better place
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  • Danielle Ibarra
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone has faults, as I’m sure Howard Schultz does, but this man and his visions have done a lot of good in our world. His heart is all in. He wants to share his story and his experiences I believe in part to let others know you can always do more.He highlights other’s successes more than his own in the book. He uses his vantage point to learn as much as he can about a topic in order to better service that need. I wanted to find a fault, but I could not. I have been inspired by the many people Everyone has faults, as I’m sure Howard Schultz does, but this man and his visions have done a lot of good in our world. His heart is all in. He wants to share his story and his experiences I believe in part to let others know you can always do more.He highlights other’s successes more than his own in the book. He uses his vantage point to learn as much as he can about a topic in order to better service that need. I wanted to find a fault, but I could not. I have been inspired by the many people’s stories he shares in his book, as well as by his own.
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  • Ken Hamner
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read several books by Howard Schultz and teach a Starbucks case study to graduate entrepreneurship students. Knowing he was running for President, I wanted to read this book. The biographical parts of the book are excellent, as he discusses his family and early struggles. The remainder of the book doesn’t convey any real policy discussion and is a bit disappointing. He didn’t make a case for being President and I felt like he could have.
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  • Mary L. Arronte
    January 1, 1970
    I thought the book was generally well written. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about all the programs Starbucks had implemented over the years. I am very impressed to know about the opportunity for employees to be able to obtain college degrees from ASU online programs. I think Mr. Schultz has many valid points but I hope he does not run for President as he will only dilute the vote like Ross Perot did in the past.
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  • VampDiva
    January 1, 1970
    Like a lot of reviewer’s I too picked up this book after he announced that he may run for POTUS. I like what he’s done with Starbucks and humanity not just in the US but in many countries around the world through Starbucks. He has all the right intentions but I do feel he lacks charisma and unfortunately, that is what a lot of Americans base their choices on. The book itself was enlightening, a bit repetitive, but overall an easy read.
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  • Brian Gervais
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, I liked the stories and impact. I’m also a big fan. A much more personal view of the man, his past and values. If you’re looking for policy specific on what he would run on, it’s not in here but that’s not a big surprise. It does cause you think about the type of leader the US needs to end the division - if that’s even possible. Only criticism is the excessive focus on the son-father relationship. We got it early in the book.
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  • Jamie Lyon
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting book. It makes a compelling case for working for Starbucks, but I’m not sure it does much in terms of his Presidential campaign. In fact, my impression is that he could probably do more good through his philanthropic endeavors than by pursuing a political career. The book has many interesting stories and is worth the read.
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  • Alessandro Orlandi
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. Not as much a business book as I expected, but overall I enjoyed learning from Howard Shultz and know more about his life before Starbucks. If it's true what he says about his life, it's amazing what he created. Even if I don't like Starbucks coffee :)
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  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting look at his background and his view of our country.
  • Peter Mehiel
    January 1, 1970
    A must readI believe that all Americans , Republicans, Democrats and Independents should read this book before you vote in November 2020.
  • Julianna
    January 1, 1970
    More politcal than what I was expecting; but an enjoyable read that gave great insight to the company.
  • Tamara McKinney
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent
  • Vince Deuschel
    January 1, 1970
    You do not have to agree with all that is written in this book, but, you have to appreciate that it will make you stop reading and think.
  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*
  • Dylan Schouppe
    January 1, 1970
    A revealing biopic of this presidential hopeful. From humble beginnings to now, this moving book tells the story of one of the world's most recognizable companies and the man responsible for it.
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