Book Reviews & Articles

"Reading is the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding." Bill Gates in an interview with the New York Times in 2016

Everyone in a leadership position knows that gaining knowledge, remaining curious and being challenged are good and even essential ways to keep on top of things.

We all have our reading lists, but too often it’s hard to find time to get started with them. So we’ll provide a regular review by Ophicleide, one of our associates, to tempt us to read the actual book! And we are more than happy to accept reviews from others. Do please contact us if you have one to present.

Richard HOFSTADTER Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (NY 1963)

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

It is odd to be turning to a sixty year-old book to explain what is happening now, but Richard Hofstadter’s classic seems as relevant as ever. Though long, it is well-written, absorbing and packed with interest. Its theme is simple, so the general reader can pick it up and put it down without ever losing the thread.

Richard HOFSTADTER Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (NY 1963)

Lionel BARBER, The Powerful and the Damned : private diaries in turbulent times

Friday, 15 January 2021

Lionel Barber has recently retired after fifteen successful years as editor of the Financial Times. This is a chronology of how it all came to pass. It is not a tome of management advice. Rather, it is a thoroughly readable and very entertaining journey through the world’s glittering halls of fame, punctuated with frequent snapshots of the internationally and domestically great and sometimes not so good, followed up pithy summaries of how they struck this personable and gifted journalist.

Lionel BARBER, The Powerful and the Damned : private diaries in turbulent times

The Promise That Changes Everything: I Won't Interrupt You by Nancy Kline

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Nancy Kline is famed for creating the Thinking Environment, outlining how people can produce independent thinking in their organisations, teams and lives. In her latest excellent book, The Promise That Changes Everything: I Won’t Interrupt You (Penguin Life, London, 2020) she has coined the phrase “digistraction”.  This is short for digital distraction.  It can be best illustrated when she writes “Some of us would rather do without our friends than our phones.” It occurs to me that this maxim might also be applied to certain Board members.

The Promise That Changes Everything: I Won't Interrupt You by Nancy Kline

Ashoka MODY, Euro Tragedy: a drama in nine acts (New York 2018)

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Ashoka Mody’s book has received a great deal of praise. It narrates how the euro came into being and how it has developed. The thesis is clear: too much was expected of it, far too little prudence attended its birth, and after two decades there are far too many glaring flaws. The aims of France and of Germany turn out to have been diametrically opposed. Rhetoric cannot bridge the gap between vision and reality. The euro is more than money: it is an item of faith.

Ashoka MODY, Euro Tragedy: a drama in nine acts (New York 2018)