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The World According to Peter Drucker
by Jack Beatty
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 068483801X, Hardcover)Over a remarkable 60-year career, Peter Drucker has written the book on management theory, executive advice, and various aspects of social and political thought. He's also penned a monthly editorial-page column for the Wall Street Journal, contributed to publications ranging from The Economist and the Harvard Business Review to Forbes and Esquire, taught at several major universities, lectured worldwide by satellite, consulted for leading global corporations, and still found time to write two novels. His impact on individual and corporate philosophy has truly been astounding, so much so that it's often difficult to grasp its full scope. Jack Beatty's The World According to Peter Drucker is up to the task, however, offering a satisfying examination of his ongoing legacy for followers as well as a great introduction to specific works for neophytes.
With Drucker's full cooperation and assistance, Beatty (an NPR commentator and Atlantic Monthly senior editor) mixes bits of previous interviews and passages from his subject's voluminous writings with personal analysis to explore the range of his always provocative views on business, government, nonprofits, and the future. Beginning with the experiences in Europe during World War I that ultimately shaped Drucker as a writer, Beatty looks into themes like fascism, freedom, decentralization, and bureaucracy while tracing the transformation of Drucker from political scientist to management theorist. In combination with other particularly interesting observations, like those on Drucker's prescient prediction of a "new world economy" and his defining conceptualization of both privatization and "knowledge workers," the book serves to whet one's appetite for a bigger helping of the master's works--many of which, fortunately, remain in print. --Howard Rothman
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 20 Apr 2011 01:49:43 -0400)
The World According to Peter Drucker is the first biography and concise intellectual portrait of one of the twentieth century's great minds - "the greatest thinker management theory has produced," in the words of The Economist. Written with Drucker's full cooperation, the book ranges over six decades of Drucker's work from his early antifascist writings to his very latest books. The reader learns the inside story of why Drucker's classic study of General Motors, Concept of the Corporation, was scorned by GM's storied chairman, Alfred P. Sloan; watches over Drucker's shoulder as he virtually invents management and management theory; and notes the recurring paradox of Drucker's career: the "man who invented the corporate society" has been a sometimes sulphuric critic of capitalist excess. Indeed, Drucker, the author writes, should be seen as "a moralist of our business civilization."
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