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Figure 1 Publishing Complete Catalogue Oct 2016

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Reaching for a Star
The Extraordinary Life of Milan Kroupa
By (author): Josef Cermak
9781927958599 Hardcover English BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General Dec 14, 2015
$32.95 CAD
Out of print 7.6 x 9.27 x 0.92 in 224 pages Figure 1 Publishing
The rags-to-riches saga of one of Canada?s most successful entrepreneurs. After a turbulent childhood in Communist Czechoslovakia, Milan Kroupa turned his back on a promising career in soccer and fled the country of his birth. He arrived in Canada as a refugee in 1968 at the age of twenty-five, with a new wife, and a new baby. He had little more in his pocket than good advice from his father, who taught him that there are as many opportunities in the world as there are stars in the sky, and that the secret is to grasp the star that attracts you and never let it go. Following that advice, Kroupa quickly learned English, then threaded his way through the jungle of the business world, side-stepping scammers and gaining valuable experience from a series of enlightened bosses who taught him the ropes and gave him room to advance. By 1977, he was ready to go into business for himself. The company he founded on a shoe-string, United Cleaning Services, quickly expanded into a multi-million dollar, country-wide enterprise that now employs almost 5,000 people, many of whom are immigrants like himself. Throughout all this, Kroupa has remained a modest, down-to-earth man who doesn?t see himself as extraordinary at all. Extraordinary or not, his story makes fascinating reading, and will be an inspiration to everyone, and particularly to the countless new arrivals whose most valuable asset, to themselves and to the country, is their hope for the future and their determination to succeed.

Josef Cermák is an accomplished lawyer and writer. He has been active in the affairs of the Czechoslovak community in Canada for his entire career. He?s been a key member of many of the most important community organizations, serving on their boards and providing them with legal services expertise. Josef ended his active legal career as a partner in the Toronto law firm of Smith, Lyons, Torrance, Stevenson & Mayer. As a writer, Josef was a frequent contributor of articles and poems to most of the major Czech and Slovak publications in Canada. His novel, Going Home, was published by Vintage Press in New York. After the fall of Communism in 1989, he brought out a number of books in the Czech Republic, including a biography of Winston Churchill, a book of poetry, and a non-fiction book called Fragments from the Life of Czechs and Slovaks in Canada. His most substantial work, which has also been translated into English, is It All Started with Prince Rupert: The Story of Czechs and Slovaks in Canada. Reaching for A Star is Josef Cermák?s most recent book. It appeared first in Czech in 2014 under the title Rozlet (Taking Off). Paul Wilson is a freelance journalist, editor, and translator of Czech literature. His work has appeared in many North American and European publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Granta.

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