John Brooks published "Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street" in 1969. It was a collection of his New Yorker articles, including a memorable piece on a famous copier company with one of the greatest headlines of all time: "Xerox, Xerox, Xerox, Xerox."
After being reprinted several times in the 1970s, "Business Adventures" dropped out of bookstores and backlists. In 1991,
"Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me — and more than four decades after it was first published — Business Adventures remains the best business book I've ever read," Gates wrote. "John Brooks is still my favorite business writer."
Before he wrote the piece, Gates' team tried to track down the publishing history of the book, to see if it could be put back in print, according to Quartz.
"It had been with the now-defunct publisher Weybright and Talley, then rights transferred to a publisher in England at some point," Max Nisen wrote in Quartz. "The New Yorker had the original columns, but it was hard to figure out who had the book rights."
Eventually, the Gates team reached out to Brooks’ family. (Brooks died in 1993). Last week, "Business Adventures" became available as an e-book for the first time from publisher Open Road. Now it's zoomed up the Amazon bestseller list, reaching No. 5 on
A print version of "Business Adventures" will be available in September from Open Road.
"I think he was one of the first to consider business journalism as a sort of topic for just general popular readership," Alex Brooks told Quartz of his late father. "I think mostly before he came along business journalism was written for businessmen. The idea of telling business stories as just kind of entertaining pieces of reading was a real innovation."