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A Brief Guide to Business Classics: From The Art of War to The Wisdom of Failure

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The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump. The 70 titles covered were chosen with various parameters in mind: to cover a range of areas of business, from sales and marketing to negotiation, entrepreneurship to investing, leadership to innovation, and from traditional and corporate models of business to start-up manuals and alternative angles on the subject. Obvious bestselling titles such as How to Make Friends and Influence People or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People have been included, but there are also those books of more questionable value often included on recommended lists of business classics, included here by way of warning. The chosen books also cover a wide span of time and acknowledge that some of the most powerful or entertaining insights into business can be found in texts that aren't perceived as being 'business books', for instance The Art of War, Microserfs, Thinking Fast and Slow and The Wealth of Nations. The selection includes a good range of the most recent successes in business publishing with which readers may be less familiar. The titles are arranged chronologically, allowing the reader to dip in, but also casting an intriguing light on how trends in business titles have changed over the years. Among these titles, you will find expert advice, based on solid research (for instance The Effective Executive or Getting to Yes), and inspirational guides to setting up businesses and running them on sound foundations (such as True North, Crucial Conversations, or We) alongside dubious management manuals that take a single flawed idea and stretch it out to the point of absurdity. The hope is that the reader will be inspired to read the best of these titles, ignore the worst of them, and will come away with at least a basic idea of what each has to teach us about business.


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The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump The world of business books is a curious place where one can find everyone from great businesspeople like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, to the most spectacular business failures such as Enron and the sub-prime business market. There are geniuses, hard workers, academics and entrepreneurs as well a few charlatans and hucksters. There's even room for Donald Trump. The 70 titles covered were chosen with various parameters in mind: to cover a range of areas of business, from sales and marketing to negotiation, entrepreneurship to investing, leadership to innovation, and from traditional and corporate models of business to start-up manuals and alternative angles on the subject. Obvious bestselling titles such as How to Make Friends and Influence People or 7 Habits of Highly Effective People have been included, but there are also those books of more questionable value often included on recommended lists of business classics, included here by way of warning. The chosen books also cover a wide span of time and acknowledge that some of the most powerful or entertaining insights into business can be found in texts that aren't perceived as being 'business books', for instance The Art of War, Microserfs, Thinking Fast and Slow and The Wealth of Nations. The selection includes a good range of the most recent successes in business publishing with which readers may be less familiar. The titles are arranged chronologically, allowing the reader to dip in, but also casting an intriguing light on how trends in business titles have changed over the years. Among these titles, you will find expert advice, based on solid research (for instance The Effective Executive or Getting to Yes), and inspirational guides to setting up businesses and running them on sound foundations (such as True North, Crucial Conversations, or We) alongside dubious management manuals that take a single flawed idea and stretch it out to the point of absurdity. The hope is that the reader will be inspired to read the best of these titles, ignore the worst of them, and will come away with at least a basic idea of what each has to teach us about business.

30 review for A Brief Guide to Business Classics: From The Art of War to The Wisdom of Failure

  1. 4 out of 5

    Izatul H

    This book is useful for those looking for classic business books. It has given me a long list of book recommendations.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Олег Куклін

    James M. Russell/ Джеймс Рассел "Классика бизнеса", 2020 Бизнес-литература перегружена множеством откровенно "халтурных" изданий. И даже именитые авторы не прочь просто заработать на повторе своих мыслей. Эта книга помогает составить перечень новых авторов и их произведений лично для вас. Она существенно экономит ваше время и, в любом случае, расширяет кругозор. Автор кратко излагает основные идеи 70 бизнес-книг и свое отношение к ним. Дальнейший выбор за Вами. James M. Russell/ Джеймс Рассел "Классика бизнеса", 2020 Бизнес-литература перегружена множеством откровенно "халтурных" изданий. И даже именитые авторы не прочь просто заработать на повторе своих мыслей. Эта книга помогает составить перечень новых авторов и их произведений лично для вас. Она существенно экономит ваше время и, в любом случае, расширяет кругозор. Автор кратко излагает основные идеи 70 бизнес-книг и свое отношение к ним. Дальнейший выбор за Вами.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ralph Nicolai

    This book quickly gave me a reading list of some of the well-acclaimed business classic books. The author recommends books that are based on solid scientific research such as “The effective executive” which I might not have stumbled upon if I just personally made my own reading list! I’d say it’s a very good guide to quickly spot of new books and also reference some of your “want to read” books!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vaughan

    So many books I've added to my read later list as a result of this... also a few that were in my list that I might be a bit more skeptical of = but I don't know this author well enough to actually remove these books. I'll make my own call. So many books I've added to my read later list as a result of this... also a few that were in my list that I might be a bit more skeptical of = but I don't know this author well enough to actually remove these books. I'll make my own call.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Simona

    Refreshing take on the most well-known business classics. The author isn't scared to put books on blast if they are a waste of time or just plain, utter nonsense and gives you the essence of each book in 1-2 pages. I'd definitely recommend reading it! Refreshing take on the most well-known business classics. The author isn't scared to put books on blast if they are a waste of time or just plain, utter nonsense and gives you the essence of each book in 1-2 pages. I'd definitely recommend reading it!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eloisa Villamora

    Good summaries of books

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rupesh Khanal

    This is one the best book to jumpstart reading on the sectors of business. It provides overview review of the books which we could choose for further journey. Thanks

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This book met my expectations. I have always been drawn to Self-Help and motivation books. I ran into this book one day at a bookstore and scanned through the pages and knew that it will be a book that I will enjoy. It contains brief summaries as well as descriptions on 50 books that are considered as business classics. The author is not kind on books that stretch a single idea into a whole book- like 'who moved my cheese' which I had the misfortune of reading. I remember reading ' who moved my This book met my expectations. I have always been drawn to Self-Help and motivation books. I ran into this book one day at a bookstore and scanned through the pages and knew that it will be a book that I will enjoy. It contains brief summaries as well as descriptions on 50 books that are considered as business classics. The author is not kind on books that stretch a single idea into a whole book- like 'who moved my cheese' which I had the misfortune of reading. I remember reading ' who moved my cheese' and spending the next few days thinking how it could be published and what the hell made it so successful. Still, I'm kind to all books in general and thought that if millions of people bought it, then it must be worth something and the fault was probably with me. The author of this book however trusts his own judgment and when he sees bullshit, he calls it rightly so. All in all, it helped me get a general sense of what all these books were about and which ones to avoid. I liked the way the author provides his own insight into these books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sambasivan

    Great selection of books. Incisive and original views of the author about the book. He does not shy away from giving a negative opinion even if it is a bestseller. Worth a read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Duncan

    Intelligent, concise and funny summaries of dozens of business-related books. I tried out Blinkist recently. They say they have 11 million users. Subscribers pay $5 a month. Their book summaries are bland. This book by James M. Russell does a much better job. I think it deserves at least a few of Blinkist's 11 million having a read. Intelligent, concise and funny summaries of dozens of business-related books. I tried out Blinkist recently. They say they have 11 million users. Subscribers pay $5 a month. Their book summaries are bland. This book by James M. Russell does a much better job. I think it deserves at least a few of Blinkist's 11 million having a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jose Galaura

  12. 5 out of 5

    S

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anon

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rohit Goyal

  15. 4 out of 5

    Orn Solmundsson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Jones

  17. 5 out of 5

    Francesco Angeli

  18. 5 out of 5

    Azmir Ismail

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hammad

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yasiru

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nick Ahlmark

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kirill Savolainen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vibhu Mishra

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ramkumar Jayaraman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bebs Lejano

  26. 5 out of 5

    Louis-philippe Kerkhove

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liyana Noordin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sinthujan Jegaskanda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Asmawi Mohamad

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tze Ru

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