In 2015, researchers at the London School of Economics reported that the most successful industry in America for the last one hundred fifteen years was tobacco. One dollar invested in tobacco stocks at the beginning of 1900 would have grown to an astonishing $6.3 million at the end of 2014.
Gene Hoots worked for R. J. Reynolds for twenty-one years. He saw its empire grow and then destroyed by “Barbarians” in 1989 in the biggest leveraged buyout in history. But he knew there was a longer, dramatic story that both led to and followed the historic buyout.
One dollar invested in tobacco stocks at the beginning of 1900 would have grown to an astonishing $6.3 million at the end of 2014.
Going Down Tobacco Road is a new look at how the ‘gold leaf’ became king in North Carolina and its impact on robber barons, factory workers, farmers, and almost everyone else in the state. But it is also the story of an Empire whose profitability from a controversial product brought untold riches to businesses, governments, and several million people and then caused its own destruction.
The universal business lessons from this story about the rise, fall, and resurrection of an industrial giant apply to anyone who must allocate financial resources no matter whether for a personal savings plan or a major business enterprise.