Torekull, Bertil 1931-
TOREKULL, Bertil 1931-
PERSONAL: Born 1931, in Sweden.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperBusiness, 10 East 53rd St., Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Journalist, publicist, and writer. Former editor in chief of magazines in Sweden, including Vecko-Revyn, Veckans Affärer, Östgöta Correspondenten, Svenska Dagbladet, and Dagens Industri.
Brev till en ofödd skattskyldig och andra blandekonomiska lägesrapporter, Svenska Dagbladet (Stockholm, Sweden), 1990.
Lille hövdingen: Ett ömsint porträtt av Per Eckerberg, vår förste politruk, Wahlström & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 1993.
(With Lars Bringert) Äventyret Dagens industri: Historien om en tidnings födelse, Wahlström & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 1995.
Historien om IKEA: Ingvar Kamprad berättar förBertil Torekull, Wahlström & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 1998, translated by Joan Tate as Leading by Design: The IKEA Story, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 1999.
Det emaljerade hjärtat: En sons bekännelser, Wahlström & Widstrand (Stockholm, Sweden), 2002.
Also author of novels and nonfiction in Sweden under pseudonym "Mr. Trend."
SIDELIGHTS: Swedish journalist Bertil Torekull has written an authorized biography of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the hugely successful IKEA furniture chain. Using official IKEA documents, as well as numerous lengthy conversations with Kamprad himself, Torekull has crafted a story of a creative visionary sometimes forced by circumstance to make what turn out to be prudent business decisions. Torekull also allows Kamprad to comment upon his youthful support of fascism, a part of his past he now deeply regrets. Leading by Design: The IKEA Story also chronicles the chain's emergence from quite modest origins in Sweden to an international phenomenon rivaling the largest furniture outlets and hardware stores.
Some critics felt that Torekull might have been more comfortable writing an unauthorized biography of Kamprad. In the Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty wrote that Torekull "seems too chummy with Mr. Kamprad and too awed by his 'inextinguishable knowledge, charisma, inventiveness and energy.'" Hagerty also found the translation from the Swedish "sometimes clumsy." Booklist contributor Leon Wagner likewise noted that the work "reads like an autobiography with lengthy first-person reminiscences delivered in Kamprad's voice." In a critique for Inc. magazine, a reviewer commented that Leading by Design "is too much about Kamprad and too little about the business." In contrast, Library Journal contributor Bellinda Wise called the work "a picturesque and insightful view.," adding: "The author eloquently describes the company, its founder, and his business philosophy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 1, 1999, Leon Wagner, review of Leading by Design: The IKEA Story, p. 49.
Inc., August, 1999, "Book Value: Tall Tales from Big Companies," p. 113.
Library Journal, September 1, 1999, Bellinda Wise, review of Leading by Design, p. 208.
Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1999, review of Leading by Design, p. 174.
Wall Street Journal, September 9, 1999, James R. Hagerty, "How to Assemble a Retail Success Story," p. A24.
SFBG.com,http://www.sfbg.com/ (November 9, 2004), Alex Coolman, "Design for Living: IKEA's Compelling Story Transcends Bad Storytelling."*