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Publisher's Summary

A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of McKinsey & Company, America's most influential and controversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation's leading financial journalists.

Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one of the world's leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American business and shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrial dominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helped create the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the idea of budgeting as a management tool.

McKinsey consultants have created the corporate behaviors that shaped our world - reinventing our idea of American capitalism and exporting it across the globe.

At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associated with a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for the failures - at least not publicly.

McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted , loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world. In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best American organizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.

©2013 Duff McDonald (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Warning: Non consultants should avoid

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd only recommend to other consultants or people interested in consulting. It is a 4 - 5 star book for people in the industry.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Not applicable

Have you listened to any of Tom Weiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have. His performance is appropriate with proper inflections and tone.

Do you think The Firm needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, it's a comprehensive history with an opened ended conclusion.

Any additional comments?

Don't bother with this book if you are not interested in McKinsey or consulting. It will bore you to tears within a few pages. Otherwise, this is a detailed, well structured analysis of the "gold standard" in consulting firms. The author provides a history from the beginning of the firm through today. He is non-judgmental and focuses on the major directors of the firm. As a consultant, I enjoyed the book and its insight into McKinsey. I can see where it would bore anyone outside of the industry.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Wow...

While the narrator is boring at times, the perspective and insight is tremendous! definitely a great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good history and overview mckinsey

Although at time it got repetitive, the story seemed to repeat itself. Mckinsie, had relationships that it turned into engagement this some time went well and some time didnt. Overall the analysis of the few last years of the firm and how is addressing its current challenges are the most informative of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Well researched history and info on McKinsey & Co

For business students interested in entering the field of consultancy or others interested on the operation of corporations this is a must read. McKinsey and the many consultancies it spawned have had a large impact on global corporations

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good story, but difficult performance

How could the performance have been better?

This was my biggest issue - the narrator read this like it was a History Channel documentary on space travel. Way over-performed, but not in an engaging way. Very little personality came through.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Interesting book

An interesting book about the company McKinsey. If you want to learn how the consultants work, there are other books. However, if you want to know the history of the company and the broad lines, this is the book

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An insider perspective of management consulting

As a former consultant reading the history of my industry is interesting, and McKinsey is the first among the "white-glove" consulting firms. This book covers everything from the start of the firm in the 30s to it's *recent* (circa 2012) controversies w/ one of it's senior partners being involved in insider trading. Probably mostly of interests to other professionals in this field or adjacent areas, but people interested in the history of US capitalism should also read as well.

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Interesting and easy read

The book runs through the entire history and let’s you chose what to learn from rather than the author sharing what he learned from their history.

It is very well researched and the styles makes it informative and a relaxing book to listen to.

The narrator is great too.

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pretty fair, a little biased.

The author presents a few fair and balanced point although I believe the overall message can still be seen as biased. While not overbearingly in support of Mckinsey, the book has an ever so slight pro-Mckinsey tint. Definitely a must read for any consultant or those interested.

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Had absolutely zero substance.

Good narration, but the story was weak. If you're aware of what management consulting actually entails, then you'll know of McKinsey, and this book will be utterly pointless.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful