PRINT November 1998


business lit

THE PRESS KIT THAT CAME WITH my copy of Gordon MacKenzie’s Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace (Viking, 1998) describes the book as “originally self-published and already a business cult-classic.” That such a thing exists should surprise no one: so far has business writing evolved in the last thirty years, so many subgenres has it spun off, that the notion of a cult classic is today but one of the many ways in which this former publishing industry niche now constitutes a fairly complete parallel literary universe. There are management prayer books, management murder mysteries, management literary criticism, management mysticism, and a vast outpouring of management social theory in which this or that bit of stale, fifty-year-old thought is retrofitted with the logic and language of the cubicle and offered up as the latest in power thinking.


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