Wednesday, November 16, 2016

RAY & JOAN: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away - Spotlight

Glamour, romance, philanthropy, and… McDonald’s?

Words you never thought would be used together, but which perfectly describe the legacy of Ray and Joan Kroc.

The dramatic relationship between Ray Kroc, the man who amassed  a fortune as chairman of one of America's most controversial and iconic companies—McDonald's—and the passionate woman, his wife, Joan, who then gave that fortune away.
Beginning in the 1950s, salesman Ray Kroc presided over the transformation of a successful burger stand into an international brand where millions of people eat each day. All the while he pursued the woman who would become his third wife, Joan—a woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes in which she believed.  For sheer emotional firepower, the relationship between Ray and Joan—whose massive gifts to NPR and the Salvation Army rate her as one of the greatest philanthropists of our time—has been compared to that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Equally as dramatic as Ray and Joan's romance is the story of how Ray wrested control of the company from the original founders and presided over its growth, once bringing it close to failure before finally triumphing—and, soon after, finally winning the hand of the love of his life. Together, the two stories form a compelling portrait of the twentieth century: a story of big business, big love, and big giving.

Dutton is excited to publish RAY & JOAN: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away (on-sale 11/15) by veteran New York Times and Marketplace reporter Lisa Napoli. Much more than a story about McDonald’s, Napoli’s beautifully-written book is a sweeping portrait of one of the most important romances of the 20th century: a passionate and tumultuous relationship that produced one of the greatest international brands, and one of the greatest underappreciated philanthropists, of our time.

Starred reviews have come in from Kirkus and Booklist, and other raves include reviews in Marie Claire, BookPage and Publishers Weekly. There’s also the Oscar buzz-worthy movie The Founder coming out this January that will surely ignite a renewed interest in the Krocs, but only Lisa has the full story.