Pequot Library hosts Meet the Author program

Peter Georgescu

Peter Georgescu

Pequot Library hosts its next Meet the Author program on Sunday, Feb. 18, from 4-6 p.m. Peter Georgescu, chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam, will discuss his critically acclaimed book, Capitalists Arise!: End Economic Inequality, Grow the Middle Class, Heal the Nation. He will give a 30- to 40-minute author talk followed by a Q&A, book sales, and signing. The program is free and open to the public and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

In his new book, Georgescu argues that the stark reality of our current economic malaise and social breakdown can be attributed to the short-term thinking spawned by shareholder primacy. With deeply sobering statistics and new research, Capitalists Arise! points the way toward a future that will only be possible with enlightened capitalism.

“Peter Georgescu is a great storyteller,” said Shelly Lazarus, the chairman emeritus at Ogilvy & Mather who serves on the boards of General Electric, Blackstone, and Merck. In his new book he takes on one of the driving stories of our time: income inequality. He makes you not just understand but feel the consequences in human terms. And then he goes on to offer real-world solutions. This book will not just make you think; it will drive you to action.”

Born on the eve of the Second World War in Bucharest, Romania, Georgescu arrived in this country as a penniless refugee and rose to prominence as the CEO of Young & Rubicam. His Romanian parents were educated in England and France; his father the managing director of Exxon’s operation in Romania. While on a business trip to New York in 1947, the Iron Curtain fell and Georgescu’s parents could not return to Romania. Overnight they became the enemy of the Communist regime: his father would have been killed if he’d returned to Romania.

Georgescu and his brother were left in Romania with his grandparents and remained apart from his mother and father for eight years. His grandfather was seized and imprisoned as a political threat, and then murdered in captivity. Shortly after his grandfather was taken away, Georgescu, only nine years old, was arrested along with his brother and grandmother and sent to a work camp. In 1953 his father was approached by Romanian Communist diplomats in New York and asked to spy for them in exchange for keeping his children alive. His parents refused and went to the press, causing an international scandal. With the intervention of U.S. Rep. Frances Bolton and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the boys were reunited with their parents in April of 1954.

The author’s American journey started in the fall of 1954 with a gifted admission to Exeter Academy, which generously overlooked his inability to speak English and his lack of formal schooling since second grade. Georgescu went onto graduate cum laude from Princeton University and earn an MBA from Stanford Business School. In 1963 he entered Young & Rubicam as a trainee in its research department. Thirty-seven years later he retired as chairman and CEO with the company at the pinnacle of the advertising and related communications industry.

In recognition for his contributions to the marketing and advertising industry, Georgescu was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame and received several honorary Doctorate of Humanities degrees and other recognitions from a number of colleges and universities.

It’s an “American dream” success story that could not play out in today’s economic environment — one that is plagued with disappearing jobs, flat wages, and a shrinking middle class. Georgescu’s deepest hope is that this book can serve as a manifesto for fellow CEOs, executives, and directors to take steps to push back against the pressures of shareholder primacy and begin to reshape free enterprise with a vision toward long-term profitability rather than short-term gain.

Public programs at Pequot Library are supported in part by the Town of Fairfield. 

Please visit www.pequotlibrary.org to learn more about this vibrant library, educational, arts and cultural institution. For information: (203) 259-0346 ext. 115. Follow Pequot Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Pequot Library Brings Culture to Life!

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