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Adventures of a Bystander Hardcover – February 4, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0471247395 ISBN-10: 0471247391

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (February 4, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471247391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471247395
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For almost 60 years, Peter Drucker has been writing about everything from management and economics to philosophy and politics with an unorthodox perspective on business and society that continues to attract followers. But in the autobiographical classic Adventures of a Bystander--considered the best of his 29 books by both readers and Drucker himself--the spotlight is turned around to illuminate those he met along the way, who best embody his envisioned ideals of pluralism and diversity. Among them: Sigmund Freud, Henry Luce, Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan, and Fritz Kraemer, "the man who invented Kissinger." --Howard Rothman

Review

"Drucker's autobiography is a joy to read because of the mix of intriguing characters, momentous events and sharp insights we've come to expect from one of the most original management theorists."-Upside magazine

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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My favorite character is the man who made Kissinger.
Tom Groenfeldt
Certainly, this is one of the most provocative and influential books that I have ever read!
Frank E. Miller
It was a dense, fact-filled book, but always fascinating.
C. L Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I did not know about this book until I read Jack Beatty's THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PETER DRUCKER. I thought that the excerpts from ADVENTURES OF A BYSTANDER were the best part of Beatty's book. Thus, encouraged, I ordered a copy on Amazon.com and sat down to read. What a great surprise! I felt I knew a lot of Peter Drucker stories, from having met him many times. It looked like I had missed most of the best ones. I was also impressed to learn the places where he first learned many of his most important observations, such as the power of asking the right questions and following through (from his fourth grade teacher, Miss Sophie). There are several chapters in the book that are worth the price of the book, such as the chapters about Sigmund Freud, General Motors, Henry Luce, and the rise of Nazism in Austria and Germany. As a history major, I felt I knew a lot about the people and places he talks about, but I was wrong. I had been sold a bill of goods by people who were not there, as Professor Drucker was. I finished the book wishing he would write a longer autobiography that would capture more of Professor Drucker's remarkable life. He apparently turned down more good jobs before he was 30 than most people would ever have offered to them in 100 lifetimes. This book also helps explain why Professor Drucker has been a seminal thinker for three generations of Americans. His first bestseller in English came out when he was only 30, and only a few years away from his native Austria. What an amazing life Professor Drucker has lived! Until you read this book, you will not know how amazing, and you will have missed a wonderful book -- probably his most intriguing and interesting. Get this book now! If you have not read much of Professor Drucker's work, I suggest you read THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PETER DRUCKER next. It is an invaluable guide to all of Professor Drucker's writing.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Danny Hillis on January 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Instead of the usual self-focused auto-biography, Drucker introduces us to the people that have shaped him. Some are famous (Bucky Fuller, Marshal Mcluhan) some are not (his elementary school teacher). Some are good, some evil, but they are are worth meeting, especially through Drucker's eyes. A good read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Frank E. Miller on April 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Drucker clearly explains how rampant inflation in post WW I Germany influenced the rise of the Nazi party and Hitler. This discussion should be required reading for every 14 year old child! I particularly liked his stories of Willem Paarboom, a sort of Dutch hedge-fund/investment manager who appeared to be a cross between a man and a raven. In his day, Herr Drucker was exposed to some truly elegant and unorthodox thinkers. He adds his own illuminating interpretations and is not afraid to engage in contrary thinking. (Especially when to do so is out of vogue) Read about Dr. Mordecai Johnson and his views on the "American Negro Problem" and you will never contemplate African slavery the same way again. I consider Drucker to be one of the brightest minds of the 20th century, and his genius is on full display here. Certainly, this is one of the most provocative and influential books that I have ever read!

(Drucker particularly liked the "sqwoosh, sqwoosh" sound when jumping in puddles.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kmurrell@uwf.edu on February 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
Wonderful and a joy to read for anyone interested in the life and times of one of our best and among our first great management consultants. Drucker's stories are so enlightening in both a historical context and in terms of the develoment of the profession of management. Nothing has so thrilled me in appreciating this short history of western industrial civilization from the eyes of this original thinker. I review 10-20 books a year for different professional management journals but this is one of the most enjoyable as well as educational book I have ever read. Far beyond the work of Tom Peters and other known pundits, this is the work of a man with experience that easily transcends six decades. In a world of rush, rush and fads ad nauseaum this work is full of wisdom. Few other books would satisfy as well for anyone wanting to know about the man, his times and the forces that have created the management profession. Please tell Peter to get this book out to a wider audience and to bring several hundred copies to the 1998 Academy of Management meetings in San Diego this summer and I will try to bring my copy for his signature. This is the one book I have gotten up in the middle of the night to read just for the pure pleasure of reading. In fact last night at 4:30am I had to circle his commentary of "self governing workplace communities" so that in my own work I dont fail to cite the original source of ideas that many of us are researching and talking about today. Peter was only 50 years ahead of the field on this theme and I personally hope he will be around to help us develop these ideas for the next half century. ken
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. L Wilson on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Not really an autobiography, not quite a memoir, part biography, of the people he has known in his life, some famous, some not. And Drucker is still alive, now 95 years old. It was a dense, fact-filled book, but always fascinating. He is an amazingly prolific, gifted, engaging writer. And what he has to say about America and The American Dream in the last pages of the book is no less true today than it was in the late 70's when it was written. He writes of Sigmund Freud (things you haven't read before), Henry Luce, Alfred Sloan, John L. Lewis, and Buckminster Fuller among a host of other characters. A very rewarding, thought-provoking read. Highly recommended. Especially for those of us who want to read history by the people who lived it.
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More About the Author

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) was considered the top management thinker of his time. He authored over 25 books, with his first, The End of Economic Man published in 1939. His ideas have had an enormous impact on shaping the modern corporation. One of his most famous disciples alive today is Jack Welch. He was a teacher, philosopher, reporter and consultant.

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