Well, This Ought to Be Interesting….

branson_behind_the_maskTom Bower, who wrote a critical biography of Richard Branson nearly 15 years ago, is back with a new book looking at the British mogul’s most recent activities, including his nearly decade-long quest to launch himself and other wealthy individuals into space.

Being that Branson called Bower’s previous book a “foul” piece of work that offended him on every level, I can’t imagine this one is going to be any kinder. The earlier biography paints a very unflattering picture of the British billionaire, who Bower views as skilled in creating illusions that are at odds with reality.

The book will likely cause some real heartburn for the folks over at Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port by taking a closer look at what’s been happening with the project. None of the parties is likely to come off very well.

The book will be released on Monday, Jan. 27. Advanced copies are already in the hands of reviewers. In the meantime, here is some promotional copy from the publisher to give you all an idea of what’s about to break.

Tom Bower

Have the triumphs of Richard Branson, one of the world’s most popular and most publicity-seeking businessmen, turned to dust over the last decade?

The image remains pristine: a charismatic high-school dropout turned billionaire, whose stratospheric rise and daring exploits have won him millions of enduring admirers and made him a model for aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the world.

But is this story still credible?

Over the last decade, has Branson matched the expectations perpetuated by Virgin’s relentless publicity machine? Or have we all been seduced by a brilliant showman?

In his most explosive book to date, Tom Bower, bestselling biographer of Simon Cowell, Bernie Ecclestone, Conrad Black and Robert Maxwell, dares to explore the reality of the Branson empire. In doing so, he unravels the gripping story of his recent activities – from the astonishing success of mobile phones to his troubled airlines and his long delayed plan to send multimillionaires into space – and asks whether he really remains Britain’s heroic buccaneer.