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Publisher's Summary

In the century since its founding, Harvard Business School has become the single most influential institution in global business. Twenty percent of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are HBS graduates, as are many of our savviest entrepreneurs (e.g., Michael Bloomberg) and canniest felons (e.g., Jeffrey Skilling). The top investment banks and brokerage houses routinely send their brightest young stars to HBS to groom them for future power. To these people and many others, a Harvard MBA is a golden ticket to the Olympian heights of American business.

In 2004 Philip Delves Broughton abandoned a post as Paris bureau chief of the London Daily Telegraph to join 900 other would-be tycoons on HBS's plush campus. Over the next two years, he and his classmates would be inundated with the best - and the rest - of American business culture, which HBS epitomizes. The core of the school's curriculum is the "case" - an analysis of a real business situation, from which the students must, with a professor's guidance, tease lessons. Broughton studied over 500 cases and recounts the most revelatory ones here. He also learned the surprising pleasures of accounting, the allure of "beta", the ingenious chicanery of leveraging, and innumerable other hidden workings of the business world, all of which he limns with a wry clarity reminiscent of Liar's Poker. He also exposes the less savory trappings of business-school culture, from the "booze luge" to the pandemic obsession with PowerPoint to the specter of depression, which stalks too many overburdened students.

With acute and often uproarious candor, he assesses the school's success at teaching the traits it extols as most important in business: leadership, decisiveness, ethical behavior, and work/life balance.

©2008 Philip Delves Broughton (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The audio is valuable as people ponder deeply whether they should go to business school, given the current climate." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Harvard

Interesting story...but to what end? It was written well, but I got to the end and could not figure out what the point was. Lots of Harvard details, some fascinating, others were a slog to get through.

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Entertaining view of life at HBS

I have listened to the book twice and enjoyed the author's humor and insight. I was considering attending HBS and wanted to glean some insight and this book provides details about the school, courses and people of HBS that you may not find anywhere else. I recommend it highly.

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U better know what u want out of HBS

Great story that resonated with my MBA journey. What u get out of ur investment in thought,effort, and results will weigh heavily on ur particular goals and objectives. In the end, u learn more about urself.

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Good book

An excellent listen.. Very well narrated.. A different perspective by the author which I'm sure most of us have but are too afraid to acknowledge since we are busy in the 'Rat race'