Berkshire Beyond Buffett

The Enduring Value of Values

Lawrence A. Cunningham

Columbia University Press

Berkshire Beyond Buffett

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Pub Date: October 2014

ISBN: 9780231170048

336 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $29.95£25.00

Pub Date: October 2014

ISBN: 9780231538695

336 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $28.99£25.00

Berkshire Beyond Buffett

The Enduring Value of Values

Lawrence A. Cunningham

Columbia University Press

Berkshire Hathaway, the $300 billion conglomerate that Warren Buffett built, is among the world's largest and most famous corporations. Yet, for all its power and celebrity, few people understand Berkshire, and many assume it cannot survive without Buffett. This book proves them wrong.

In a comprehensive portrait of the corporate culture that unites Berkshire's subsidiaries, Lawrence A. Cunningham unearths the traits that assure the conglomerate's continued prosperity. Riveting stories of each subsidiary's origins, triumphs, and journey to Berkshire reveal how managers generate economic value from intangibles like thrift, integrity, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and a sense of permanence.

Rich with lessons for those wishing to profit from the Berkshire model, this engaging book is a valuable read for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, family business members, and investors, and it is an important resource for scholars of corporate stewardship. General readers will enjoy learning how an iconoclastic businessman transformed a struggling textile company into a corporate legacy.

Cunningham is a writer and scholar well known to the Berkshire Hathaway faithful, and he was Warren Buffett's pick for cataloging and organizing Berkshire's famous annual reports. Now he has taken us in a new direction, directly into the purchases of companies made by Buffett. An insightful and important book.

Robert Hagstrom, author of The Warren Buffett Way

How did Warren Buffett build such a great firm? To unravel this mystery, Cunningham takes a deep dive inside the culture of Berkshire Hathaway's subsidiaries, highlighting the values of integrity, kinship, and autonomy—and revealing how building moats around the castles may help the firm outlast its visionary founder.

Adam Grant, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

Berkshire Hathaway's trajectory has been so seamless that Warren Buffett's professional transition has gone almost unnoticed. The man who began his business life as a precocious 'stock picker' has morphed into the chief executive of one of the largest collections of businesses in the world. Lawrence A. Cunningham's book astutely chronicles this development.

From the foreword by Tom Murphy, Berkshire Hathaway director and former CEO of ABC, Inc.

An absolute must-read for advisors... this book is one of the great chronicles of corporate history...[an] excpetional volume. [Ranked sixth best book of the year]

Financial Advisor

A timely contribution to a swelling debate… an encyclopedic history of the group's operating businesses.

Financial Times

A detailed study of Berkshire's portfolio and an intriguing profile of the Sage of Omaha's approach to management, not just investment.

The Times

Important, insightful, and clearly written... a major contribution to the management literature, this book should be read by managers of all organizations, business professors and students, business owners, and investors.


There is much to learn from Mr. Cunningham's stories about the companies that Berkshire Hathaway owns.

The Economist

If you're fascinated with growth strategies, you'll find few books more valuable.

Independent Agent

A worthy read.

Part One
1. Origins
2. Diversity
3. Culture
Part Two
4. Budget-conscious and Earnest
5. Reputation
6. Kinship
7. Self-starters
8. Hands-off
9. Investor Savvy
10. Rudimentary
11. Eternal
12. All One
13. Berkshire's Portfolio
Part Three
14. Succession
15. Challenges
16. B.E.R.K.S.H.I.R.E.
Selected Bibliography

Read the introduction:

Web Features:
Lawrence Cunningham discusses the future of Berkshire Hathaway
Watch an interview with Lawrence Cunningham on Five Good Questions:

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2015

About the Author

Lawrence A. Cunningham, editor and publisher since 1997 of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, is the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor at George Washington University. Cunningham's dozen books include The AIG Story (with Maurice R. Greenberg) and How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett. His extensive writings on a wide range of business and legal topics appear in leading university journals as well as in such periodicals as the Baltimore Sun, the Financial Times, the New York Post, and the New York Times. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.