Book Review: How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill | mobilemojomanGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
How Starbucks Saved My Life?
Chapter 1: How Starbucks Saved My Life
Please enter the email address that you use to login to TeenInk. Life is a matter of familiarizing yourself with your values and priorities, which usually comes as a result of looking back at your individual experiences. This is the case of the life-changing experience of Michael Gates Gill, a former creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising. He was born into a life of never-ending privileges that allowed him to exceed in every aspect of his life, without lifting a finger. Because his goals in life had been easily achieved due to the high social class he stood in because of his father, he never had a chance to actually work hard for a place in the world. Because of his elite job, he felt he was the ruling class of the world and look down upon those of the working class.
A Yale education led to a job at prestigious J. Walter Thompson Advertising. But at 63, the younger Gill's sweet life has gone sour. Long fired from JWT, his own business is collapsing and an ill-advised affair has resulted in a new son and a divorce. At this low point, and in need of health insurance for a just diagnosed brain tumor, Gill fills out an application for Starbucks and is assigned to the store on 93rd and Broadway in New York City, staffed primarily by African-Americans. Working as a barista, Gill, who is white, gets an education in race relations and the life of a working class Joe.
This is the true, surprising story of an old white man who was kicked out of the top of the American Establishment, by chance met a young African-American woman from a completely different background, and came to learn what is important in life. He was born into privilege on the affluent Upper East Side of Manhattan, she into poverty in the projects in Brooklyn. He once had a high-powered advertising job and now had nothing; she came from the streets and now had succeeded—so much so that she was able to offer a stranger a chance to save himself. This is my story, and like all surprising stories, it starts with an accident. But on that particular rainy day in March of last year, I could not resist the urge to go back in time.
How Starbucks Saved My Life
This critic, though, views it as one of the most scathing indictments of the advertising business to appear in a long time. That is, admittedly, an odd interpretation, since the book has very little to do with the advertising business. It is, as the title suggests, about Starbucks, where the author, an older gent named Michael Gates Gill, son of the New Yorker critic Brendan Gill, went to work in an entry-level job out of desperation. Walter Thompson agency in New York. Which brings us to the scathing indictment: Gill, with the grating babe-in-the-woods persona he adopts in this book, would have us believe that top advertising executives like him have no idea that there are black people in the world and that some of them run small businesses; that every weekday thousands of people gather at places like Grand Central Terminal for a ritual known as rush hour; that an overwhelming majority of lives are lived in the service of train schedules and bill collectors. If the rest of Madison Avenue royalty is as clueless about the real world as Gill makes himself seem in this book, off with their heads. Gill was a creative director whatever that is at the agency when, 25 years into his career, he was given the boot in what he portrays as a youth movement at the company.
Summary — This book is surprisingly good. Michael Gates Gill, a blue blood ad executive found himself unemployed, sick, divorced, and the father of baby boy. A chance meeting led to a second career at Starbucks that, at the very least, improved his life. After graduating from Yale, he stepped on to the fast track with the ad agency, J. Walter Thompson now JWT. Once Gill began his career, work dominated his life. He accepted assignments all over the world and dealt with the corporate titans.