“The First Billion Is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America’s Energy Future,” By T. Boone Pickens; Crown Business, 272 pages

T. Boone Pickens is one of the great characters of American business.  At least he ought to be, given that matchlessly resonant name, so perfectly suited to his central-casting persona as the quintessential, plain-speaking independent Texas oilman.  But if his name harkens back to frontier times in the Wild West – and he first rose to prominence as founder of Mesa Petroleum way back in the 1960s, then won notoriety as a corporate raider (or, as he prefers, pioneering shareholder activist) in the 1980s – it’s also true that Pickens has made a late-life comeback in the 21st century.

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