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
, 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
--This text refers to the
From Library Journal
For more than 50 years, prolific thinker Drucker (Managing in a Time of Great Change, LJ 10/15/95) has studied business organizations. Among his many accomplishments, he is credited with starting the discipline of management. Beatty, a senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly, a frequent venue for Drucker's writings, evaluates Drucker's thought through a chronological review of his major books. Beatty clearly admires much of Drucker's insight and prescience, but he does not let that blind him to his subject's occasional missteps in interpretation or fact. At times he veers beyond a discussion of management into the dismal science of economics, yet the writing is still clear and understandable from the high school level on up. This is the first book on Drucker in ten years and a good survey of a major late 20th-century thinker. Although he is not now as well known as certain more faddish management gurus, there is more substance here. Recommended for circulating collections in public libraries and strongly recommended for two-year and other academic libraries.?Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical Coll. Lib., La Crosse
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.