Meet Herbie Cohen, World’s Greatest Negotiator, dealmaker, risk taker, raconteur, adviser to presidents and corporations, hostage and arms negotiator, lesson giver and justice seeker, author of the how-to business classic You Can Negotiate Anything. And, of course, New York Times-best-selling author Rich Cohen’s father. The Adventures of Herbie Cohen follows our hero from his youth spent running around Bensonhurst with his pals Sandy Koufax, Larry King, Who Ha, Inky, and Ben the Worrier; to his days coaching basketball in the army in Europe; to his years as a devoted and unconventional husband, father, and ‘Jewish Buddha’ crossing the country to give lectures, settle disputes, and hone the art of success while finding meaning in this strange, funny world. This book is an ode to a remarkable man by an adoring but not undiscerning son, and a treasure trove of hilarious antics and counterintuitive wisdom. It’s a bildungsroman, a collection of tall tales, the unfolding of a unique biography coiled around Herbie’s guiding principle: The secret of life is to care, but not that much.
The Adventures of Herbie Cohen: World’s Greatest Negotiator
This affectionate and clear-eyed portrait was written with humor, tenderness, and love by a son about his father. Herbie Cohen, a streetwise kid from Brooklyn who said he learned everything he needed on those streets, became the “Aristotle of hustle.” Herbie developed his skills as a master negotiator by outfoxing, outthinking, outflanking, and out-empathizing with his opponents and thus out-negotiating them. He lectured at Harvard and Yale, was in demand all over the world, yet he retained the personality of a raucous kid in a harmless boyhood gang. Through all of his adventures, he thought of himself as a freelance injustice fighter and used his skills to empower those who needed a leg up. His insight at the end of the book is a fitting coda: “The meaning of life is more life.” Herbie Cohen is remarkable indeed, and this delightful and engaging memoir does justice to him.
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