Books: Paying the Pied Piper

LING by STANLEY H. BROWN 308 pages. Atheneum. $7.95.

With his nimble mind and ability to manipulate numbers, he might have become a nuclear physicist or a chess master. Instead, James Joseph Ling became the quintessential conglomerator. In the roaring '60s he created a company that eventually ran up sales of $3.75 billion a year from products as diverse as jet planes and hamburgers. By 1969, Ling-Temco-Vought of Dallas was the 14th largest industrial enterprise in the U.S. In 1970, with LTV stock crashing and bankers hounding him for huge debts, Ling's own...

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