From the Ground Up:
A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America
in conversation with JAMES FALLOWS
February 5, 2019
(Doors at 5:30)
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.
Harvard Book Store welcomes longtime chief executive officer and chairman of Starbucks HOWARD SCHULTZ for a discussion of his latest book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America. He will be joined in conversation by Atlantic national correspondent JAMES FALLOWS, the author of Our Towns: A 100,000–Mile Journey into the Heart of America.
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This event does not include a book signing. Pre-signed bookplates will be available.
About From the Ground Up
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 commitments 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
UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.
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