From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America

From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America

From the longtime CEO and chairman of Starbucks, a bold, dramatic work about the new responsibilities that leaders, businesses, and citizens share in American society today—as viewed through the intimate lens of one man’s life and work. 

What do we owe one another? How do we channel our drive, ingenuity, even our pain, into something more meaningful than individual success? And what is our duty in the places where we live, work, and play?

These questions are at the heart of the American journey. They are also ones that Howard Schultz has grappled with personally since growing up in the Brooklyn housing projects and while building Starbucks from eleven stores into one of the world’s most iconic brands.

In From the Ground Up, Schultz looks for answers in two interwoven narratives. One story shows how his conflicted boyhood—including experiences he has never before revealed—motivated Schultz to become the first in his family to graduate from college, then to build the kind of company his father, a working-class laborer, never had a chance to work for: a business that tries to balance profit and human dignity.

A parallel story offers a behind-the-scenes look at Schultz’s unconventional efforts to challenge old notions about the role of business in society. From health insurance and free college tuition for part-time baristas to controversial initiatives about race and refugees, Schultz and his team tackled societal issues with the same creativity and rigor they applied to changing how the world consumes coffee.

Throughout the book, Schultz introduces a cross-section of Americans transforming common struggles into shared successes. In these pages, lost youth find first jobs, aspiring college students overcome the yoke of debt, post-9/11 warriors replace lost limbs with indomitable spirit, former coal miners and opioid addicts pave fresh paths, entrepreneurs jump-start dreams, and better angels emerge from all corners of the country.

From the Ground Up is part candid memoir, part uplifting blueprint of mutual responsibility, and part proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. At its heart, it’s an optimistic, inspiring account of what happens when we stand up, speak out, and come together for purposes bigger than ourselves. Here is a new vision of what can be when we try our best to lead lives through the lens of humanity.

“Howard Schultz’s story is a clear reminder that success is not achieved through individual determination alone, but through partnership and community. Howard’s commitment to both have helped him build one of the world’s most recognized brands. It will be exciting to see what he accomplishes next.”—Bill Gates

Title:From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America
Format Type:

    From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America Reviews

  • LeeAnn Balbirona

    Read this in one sitting, over several hours and four cups of coffee. Some tough stuff in here; genuinely moving, personal stories. I appreciated the thorough coverage of his/Starbucks’ missteps as ...

  • Chris Norbury

    I read this after Schultz announced he was running for President as an independent. Since I'm neither a democrat or a republican, I'm usually more interested in what an indie has to say.The book is la...

  • Daniel Simmons

    It’s easy to sneer at Howard Schultz — his hucksterism and hokeyness can be a turn-off, and certainly there have been tone-deaf moments in his long Starbucks career (“Race Together,” anyone?)....

  • Liz Forester

    After hearing an interview with Howard Schultz on a recent podcast, I was intrigued by his comments about corporate social responsibility, which is what led me to pick up this book. As someone who typ...

  • Vasco

    The bad: for all that Schultz claims to have done, I see some incongruences here. Despite being a heavy consumer of Starbucks, I recognize the lack of recycling and ecological practices just to sustai...

  • Jerome VanSchaik

    Reading From the Ground Up was a very personal experience for me. You see, my life has been greatly affected by Howard Schultz every day since working for Starbucks from 1990- 1994. I say everyday be...

  • Stevo Brock

    This book was Stevo's Business Book of the Week for the week of 1/27, as selected by Stevo's Book Reviews on the Internet. You can find me at (or search for me on...

  • Tangled in Text

    Well this was extremely political. I had no idea the depths Starbucks has gone through to make sure it is respectful and accommodating to all. They definitely try to support everyone and are volunteer...

  • Bob Crawford

    I have this reoccurring nightmare. I’m back in high school and my classmates line the walls of the gym, right against the walls on all sides and I’m forced to stand before them right in the middle...

  • Roy Murry

    From the Ground UpHOWARD SCHULTZReview by Roy Murry, AuthorWhen I read, I like to be entertained or learn something. I didn't enjoy Mr. Schultz's history lesson about Starbucks.I do not know what I ex...