The World According to Peter Drucker Essay - Critical Essays

Jack Beatty

The World According to Peter Drucker

Jack Beatty has taken on the awesome task of distilling into only 188 pages of text the essence of Peter Drucker’s twenty-nine books, which have sold over five million copies and have been translated into nearly every language. Beatty, a Senior Editor at ATLANTIC MONTHLY who calls himself a biographer of Drucker’s thought, does a good job. He appears to have read nearly everything the great man ever published. A book so compact as THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PETER DRUCKER requires close attention, but it is a gold mine of ideas for anyone interested in management, economics, government, or the future of our turbulent and frightening global industrial society.

Drucker was born in Vienna and lived through two world wars which destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After coming to America looking for freedom and new hope for tottering Western civilization, Drucker became fascinated with America’s mighty corporations. “The most important reason for focusing on business management,” he wrote, “is that it is the success story of the century.” He became famous through publication of CONCEPT OF A CORPORATION (1945), based on a study of General Motors management. His concepts have permeated corporate and government thinking, including “privatization,” “the knowledge worker,” and “management by objectives.” He is credited with inventing the corporate society as well as being the guru of Japan’s postwar economic miracle.

Still active in his late eighties and somewhat disillusioned with capitalism, Drucker pins his hopes on nonprofit charitable and cultural organizations, devoting half his time to giving them free management advice.

Sources for Further Study

Booklist. XCIV, January 1, 1998, p. 754.

Commentary. CV, May, 1998, p. 76.

The Economist. CCCXLVI, February 14, 1998, p. R8.

Industry Week. CCXLVII, February 16, 1998, p. 66.

Library Journal. CXXIII, January, 1998, p. 112.

Los Angeles Times Book Review. February 8, 1998, p. 4.

The New York Times Book Review. CIII, January 11, 1998, p. 5.

Nieman Reports. LII, Summer, 1998, p. 77.

Publishers Weekly. CCXLIV, November 24, 1997, p. 60.

Technology Review. CI, May, 1998, p. 80.