My father spent most of his adult life watching one supposedly can't-miss business venture after another implode, whether it was the company he started to handle the overflow office work from other companies or the "showroom on wheels" (basically a large cargo van with a generator) he invested in during his days as a copier salesman. Firmly believing that you had to spend money to make money, he teetered on the verge of bankruptcy through much of my childhood and adolescence while my mother—ever the sensible one, having settled for what my father derisively termed a "thumper" (i.e., desk) job as a public-school principal—hounded him for child support. Fortunately, things never became quite as dire for my dad (or for the rest of us) as for Chris Gardner, whose life is the subject of the... More >>>