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Book Talk

Text: Elizabeth Belts Kauffman

(page 3 of 3)

Buzz Bradshaw

Buzz Bradshaw has been a fixture in the community since 1934, when he and his wife, Myrle, came to Ketchum on their honeymoon. Bradshaw believes there is a common thread that characterizes the people of the Wood River Valley—it’s called friendship. “If we were to write a book about our experiences here, the first and last chapters would contain a thank you to all the people in the Wood River Valley for their friendship, their kindness, and understanding.” Ketchum recently thanked the Bradshaws by appointing Buzz and Myrle as Grand Marshals for the 2005 Wagon Days celebration.

At 95, he still has a high interest in the family import business, Bradshaw International. Specializing in the importation of housewares, it is managed by three generations of Bradshaws. The Bradshaws spend their winters in California and always look forward to returning to their home in Ketchum.


Bradshaw’s reading interests range from biography and history (specifically books related to World War II, stemming from a personal meeting with General James H. Doolittle of Tokyo Raid fame) to business.

Currently on his reading list: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and China, Inc.: How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World by Ted Fishman. Bradshaw, whose company has a purchasing office in Hong Kong, says Fishman’s book addresses the potential impact of the more than 300 million Chinese who are leaving rural China for the cities—the largest migration of people in history. “The book paints a vivid picture of the megatrends coming out of China—with 1.33 billion consumers, China is one-fifth of the world’s population,” he says.

Bradshaw’s favorite author is Peter Drucker. “He has been one of the most influential writers in the world on business organization, management, and know-how. His writings and seminars have had an enormous impact on me.”

Favorite Book

As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen, “is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read,” says Bradshaw. The book’s message is on the power of thought. For example, Allen explains the difference between the amateur and the professional. The amateur whines and bellyaches because he is dominated by outside forces. The professional never complains. He looks inside himself and asks “What am I doing wrong?”
Allen’s book had such an impact on Bradshaw that he once bought 200 copies and signed each copy to give one to each employee for Christmas. “I think the influence of that book helped to build our team—the most powerful sales organization you’ve ever witnessed.”


Elizabeth Belts Kauffman lives in Ketchum with her husband, Jason and dog, Bailey. Much of the trio’s free time is spent finding adventures. She is currently reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin with Doug Peacock’s Walking it Off queued up for the summer. In addition, EB and her husband have been reading books on building green.

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