ON a crisp autumn day several years ago Atlantic senior editor Jack Beatty took one of his writers out to lunch: the business thinker and social philosopher Peter Drucker, then eighty-five, the author of the cover stories "The Age of Social Transformation" (November, 1994) and "Really Reinventing Government" (February, 1995). Beatty returned some three hours later,
Soon after that lunch Beatty embarked on what has become (The Free Press) -- the first "interpretive introduction," as Beatty describes it, to the work of a man The Economist has called "the greatest thinker management theory has produced." The book, Beatty says, "tries to pass on to others the pleasure I took in reading Drucker." Actually, it goes one better, providing as well the pleasure of reading Beatty. Those familiar with his earlier book, a biography of the Boston political legend James Michael Curley, know what (besides lucidity) to expect: a deep appreciation of history and politics, a taste for portraiture and anecdote, and an acute allergy to dullness and cant.
When J. E. Lighter, the author of the "Word Improvisation" column
-- THE EDITORS
The Atlantic Monthly; February 1998; 77 North Washington Street; Volume 281, No. 2; page 6.