Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Culture: Business 2.0 Magazine Unveils 'The Books That Matter' List of Best & Worst Books

I've never heard of them before, but there is this magazine that calls itself "Business 2.0". Apparently they see themselves as an improvement over regular old business. Business 2.0 recently released its list of the best and worst books on business. This from their press release:

The following is a sampling of book selections by category from Business 2.0's list of the "The Books That Matter":

Pillars of Capitalism: The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith (1776)
Management: The Principles of Scientific Management, by Frederick W. Taylor (1911)
Strategy: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu (c. 300 B.C.)
Innovation: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas S. Kuhn (1962)
Leadership: Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville (1851)
Marketing: The Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorstein Veblen (1899)
Investing: The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham (1949)
Booms and Busts: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay (1841)
The Business of Technology: Fire in the Valley, by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine. (1984)
Greed: Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis (1989)
Working Life: Seize the Day, by Saul Bellow (1956)
Biography: Wheels for the World, by Douglas Brinkley (2003)
Envisioning the Future: The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (1951-1953)

"Before businesspeople take that last long weekend of the summer over Labor Day, we thought we'd help them choose a great business book," said Josh Quittner, editor of Business 2.0. "At first glance, some of our choices may seem unusual--such as the inclusion of Moby-Dick--but each of the selected books spotlights examples of business savvy and ideas that we're sure will resonate with our readers."
Leadership from Moby Dick? Gimmie a break. You doubtless know the outlines of the "story": a mentally unbalanced whaling captain hunts a white whale which had once bitten off his leg. He finds it and dies fighting it. That's it. No adventures, no close calls with the white whale, no deep exploration of the captain's obsession. Nada. There are few events in this dark, malevolent novel. It's mainly rambling.

One book Business 2.0 felt would not resonate was Atlas Shrugged.

Titles that made the editors' "Remainder Bin" of overrated business books include the best-selling Who Moved My Cheese?, Ayn Rand's classic Atlas Shrugged, the management blockbuster In Search of Excellence, and Mark Twain's first novel, The Gilded Age.
Atlas Shrugged overrated? Heh. I think I'll wait for the Business 3.0 philosphic bug fix rather then buy into the current version.

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