The Silent War

For fifteen years Ira Magaziner has served as a business-strategy consultant for many multinational corporations and government agencies, experience which has allowed him to develop a profile of effective techniques for competing in today’s complicated global economy.

Winners highlighted in THE SILENT WAR include such ventures as Korea’s Samsung, Apple computers in Singapore, General Electric refrigerators, German machine tools by Traub, Sweden’s Volvo, Cross pens, and the development of fiber optics by Corning Glass. American failures are illustrated by the loss of VCR manufacturing, and the removal of support for research in solar energy technologies.

Brief stories of individual workers lend a human touch to the interesting narrative. Thorough statistics, graphs, and detailed explanations are given in extensive notes, but the chapter-by-chapter numbering system makes it difficult to find the appropriate references.

Magaziner repeatedly emphasizes the need for coordinated research and government support for new technologies. Better education is stressed, and also greater involvement of workers in improving methods. Long-range investment, planning, and patient development are seen as essential; seeking only short-term gains can be counter-productive, according to Magaziner. Readers may want to recommend this one to their representatives in Congress.