Iacocca begins with a brief look at his childhood and his education, both in school and out. He demonstrates through anecdotes, family sayings, and his own observations how he became the success he is today, and how the important events in his career were foreshadowed.
The second section chronicles his career at Ford Motor Company: how he ushered the Mustang into production, and a blow-by-blow account of the events leading up to his ouster as president of Ford. Iacocca is outspoken about his dislike for Henry Ford, sprinkling his narrative with many instances that show Ford, the son of the founder of Ford Motor Company, in an extremely bad light. He begins a chapter in the Ford section of the book by stating, “In 1975, Henry Ford started his month-by-month premeditated plan to destroy me.” He drops not a few names along the way, among them singer Vic Damone and, another celebrity in the automobile industry, John Z. DeLorean.
Iacocca makes it clear that, as bad as the ordeal at Ford was, he eventually was able to get even with Henry Ford in the American way--in the marketplace. The Ford contretemps behind him, Iacocca relates how he came to work for Chrysler Corporation, and shortly found himself in another disastrous situation--the corporation was failing, and he was the man in charge of saving it. Iacocca describes just how he took Chrysler from near bankruptcy to solvency, securing a $1.2 billion loan from the United States Government, launching a “Save Chrysler-Buy American” campaign during which he became a celebrity, appearing in television commercials for Chrysler, and enabling Chrysler to repay the government loan even before it was due.
The book is definitely American in outlook. The message here is that if you work hard and can overcome the disasters in your life, you will be successful.