The 1930sâ€”the Great Depressionâ€”Australia: Thomas Berg, the son of German immigrants, working as an odd-job man and struggling to support his family, starts a business with a second-hand truck and his own labour. Tough, single-minded and tyrannical, he drives its growth into a manufacturing conglomerateâ€”Berg Industriesâ€”that cynics see as a capitalist heaven on earth.His target was for Berg Industries to remain family-owned for at least five generationsâ€”a goal that family companies rarely attain.Setting about making that goal achievable, he appoints his sons as his subordinates, funds a world trip for his daughter, Eva, and his granddaughter to prepare them for future directorships, and makes it impossible for non-family investors to buy in.When Thomas dies, his only remaining son, Eric, becomes the chairman, and he invites Eva to be the director. Together, they pursue Thomasâ€™s vision. Later, their successors have to tackle very significant challenges.The first four Berg generations control the business during the twentieth century and expand it to include activities in Australia, England, and The United States. Some family members have involvements in Germany and India too. There are fifth-generation members who have yet to impress.This novel goes beyond successes and failures in business deals. It shows members of the expanding Berg dynasty at work and in private life, handling tensions that ebb and flowâ€”and finding that getting relatives onside can be like herding cats!
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