Ray & Joan by Lisa Napoli audiobook

Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald's Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away

By Lisa Napoli
Read by Lisa Napoli

Penguin Audio
9.00 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781524702564

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The movie The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, focused the spotlight on Ray Kroc, the man who amassed a fortune as the chairman of McDonald’s. But what about his wife Joan, the woman who became famous for giving away his fortune? Lisa Napoli tells the fascinating story behind the historic couple. Ray & Joan is a quintessentially American tale of corporate intrigue and private passion: a struggling Mad Men–era salesman with a vision for a fast-food franchise that would become one of the world’s most enduring brands, and a beautiful woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes that touched her deeply. Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s—McDonald’s, it was called—when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player who would change his life forever. The attraction between Ray and Joan was instantaneous and instantly problematic. Yet even the fact that both were married to other people couldn’t derail their roller coaster of a romance. To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. Those close to them compared their relationship to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. A force in the peace movement, she produced activist films, books, and music and ultimately gave away billions of dollars, including landmark gifts to the Salvation Army and NPR. Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love, and big giving.

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Summary

Summary

A BookPage Top Pick for November 2016

The movie The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, focused the spotlight on Ray Kroc, the man who amassed a fortune as the chairman of McDonald’s. But what about his wife Joan, the woman who became famous for giving away his fortune? Lisa Napoli tells the fascinating story behind the historic couple. Ray & Joan is a quintessentially American tale of corporate intrigue and private passion: a struggling Mad Men–era salesman with a vision for a fast-food franchise that would become one of the world’s most enduring brands, and a beautiful woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes that touched her deeply. Ray Kroc was peddling franchises around the country for a fledgling hamburger stand in the 1950s—McDonald’s, it was called—when he entered a St. Paul supper club and encountered a beautiful young piano player who would change his life forever. The attraction between Ray and Joan was instantaneous and instantly problematic. Yet even the fact that both were married to other people couldn’t derail their roller coaster of a romance. To the outside world, Ray and Joan were happy, enormously rich, and giving. But privately, Joan was growing troubled over Ray’s temper and dark secret, something she was reluctant to publicly reveal. Those close to them compared their relationship to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And yet, this volatility paved the way for Joan’s transformation into one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. A force in the peace movement, she produced activist films, books, and music and ultimately gave away billions of dollars, including landmark gifts to the Salvation Army and NPR. Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love, and big giving.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

[An] in-depth examination… Napoli provides a fascinating look at the founding couple behind a world-altering corporation and far-reaching generosity. Booklist (starred review)
Napoli has done an impressive job of researching and writing the story of two extraordinary people and their considerable accomplishments. Dallas Morning News
[Ray & Joan is] a fascinating story, and it arrives at an auspicious moment. The Associated Press
Fabulous… entertaining… Ray & Joan is a moving, extremely well-written story of big business, big love, and big giving. Huffington Post
Napoli skillfully assembles the saga of their lives as a couple and just as skillfully portrays Joan's blossoming as a philanthropic force after Ray's death… A book characterized by deep research and a seamless weaving together of the details of different lives. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The author does an outstanding job… Napoli clearly addresses the flaws of these larger-than-life characters while also endearing them to audiences. A great book that will cause readers to never look at McDonald’s the same way again. Library Journal
Napoli's well-researched, compelling portrayals of Ray and Joan Kroc shed light on a dynamic and influential power couple whose generosity continues to improve a world where McDonald's is a household name. Shelf Awareness
Napoli’s energetic, slightly tabloidesque narrative style make this a must-read for anyone who loves a good love story behind a business success. Publishers Weekly
Part corporate success story, part soap opera, this tale has a lot of territory to cover, and Napoli recounts it all in a breezy, amusing style. She’s at her best on the subject of Ray and Joan’s complicated relationship, but the backstories—Ray’s rise from milkshake machine salesman to titan of commerce and Joan’s journey from a difficult childhood to beloved philanthropist—are just as riveting. BookPage, Non-Fiction Pick of the Month
Lisa Napoli shows herself to be both a storyteller and a journalist as she pulls back the curtain. San Diego Union-Tribune
Napoli weaves together the Krocs’s personal and business dramas with considerable intelligence… [her] portrait of Joan in her final two decades, impulsively writing multimillion-dollar checks and dispatching her private jet “like a pickup truck” to run personal errands for friends, is charming and engaging. Boston Globe
Napoli's narrative skills are outstanding. She depicts Ray and Joan in vivid detail and with deep sympathy, something that's especially difficult given how neither Kroc was an especially appealing person. Chicago Tribune
…this wonderfully moving and entertaining biography will have you thinking differently about what it means to give generously and spend lavishly. Marie Claire
Journalist Lisa Napoli’s Ray & Joan is remarkable… a playful, even waggish work of biography. Christian Science Monitor
“This wonderfully moving and entertaining biography will have you thinking differently about what it means to give generously and spend lavishly.” Marie Claire
“This lively and fascinating account by journalist Lisa Napoli offers a behind-the-scenes look at Kroc’s often tumultuous marriage to Joan, who spent the years after his death in 1984 giving much of her $1.7 billion fortune to charity.” BookPage
“Napoli skillfully assembles the saga of their lives as a couple and just as skillfully portrays Joan’s blossoming as a philanthropic force after Ray’s death…A book characterized by deep research and a seamless weaving together of the details of different lives.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“To understand Joan, readers must understand Ray. Napoli clearly addresses the flaws of these larger-than-life characters while also endearing them to audiences.” Library Journal
“Napoli’s energetic, slightly tabloidesque narrative style make this a must-read for anyone who loves a good love story behind a business success.” Publishers Weekly
“Napoli’s well-researched, compelling portrayals of Ray and Joan Kroc shed light on a dynamic and influential power couple.” Shelf Awareness

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Lisa Napoli

Author Bio: Lisa Napoli

Lisa Napoli is a journalist whose last staff job was on the public radio show Marketplace. An early chronicler of the dawn of the World Wide Web as a columnist at the New York Times CyberTimes, she has also been the Internet correspondent at MSNBC. She began her career at CNN, worked in local news in North Carolina, and has directed several documentaries about Southern culture. 

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 9.00
Audience: Adult
Language: English