My first reaction to the news was something like: "Oh, goody, just what we need another book from Lee Iacocca."
Yes, you can look for it next spring.
We've already seen plenty of Iacocca's life and times. His first book, Iacocca: An Autobiography, published in 1984, was outstanding. The second book, Talking Straight, published four years later, wasn't bad either.
Although he worked with a writer, Iacocca came through loud and clear.
And if you want a different look at his wit and wisdom, another book published in 1994 by Wayne State University Press examines Iacocca's spoken word. I Gotta Tell You, edited by professor Matthew W. Seeger, dissects and analyzes some of Iacocca's most notable speeches on many topics given to a variety of audiences.
Even now, the speeches make good reading.
Both books written by Iacocca were best-sellers, which explains why publishing house Simon & Schuster is willing to do another.
It's an important and timely topic: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
But will people buy it?
Two decades ago, Iacocca was hot. He had saved Chrysler and led the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. He retired from Chrysler in 1992, and except for a little episode with Kirk Kerkorian and the failed attempt to take over Chrysler, Iacocca has pretty much stayed out of the headlines.
It's not clear that Iacocca's performance in a couple of TV commercials will be enough to give him the street cred he needs to reach the nation in 2007.
If not, that would be a shame. Iacocca's take on the issues facing the auto industry and society will be interesting and maybe even insightful.
He's had plenty of time to think about them.
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at [email protected]