L. L. Bean is one of only a handful of American companies to have attained almost legendary status in the minds of its consumers. Thanks to the integrity of its product line, consistently strong brand association, and the ability to change with customers' needs, L. L. Bean embodies the best qualities long associated with traditional American living: rugged individualism, stubborn determination, and simple ingenuity. Written by Leon Gorman, grandson of founder L. L., this is the first authoritative, true-to-life account of the iconic retailer and its quirky history and culture. This engaging account candidly reveals Gorman's behind-the-scenes struggles to preserve the identity that built Bean as he also opened the door to needed change. Woven throughout the narrative are themes that will resonate with managers and general readers alike: how to shape a powerhouse brand around bedrock beliefs and values, how to balance growth and tradition, and how to craft and preserve an authentic corporate identity. Far from a tranquil journey, the story reveals the funny, poignant, and often engrossing details of managing the L. L.. bean legacy - during the best and worst of times.