February 22, 2002

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Best Business Stories of the Year

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 8:48 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Best Business Stories of the Year, 2002 Edited by Andrew Leckey and Ken Auletta. Hardcover: Pantheon, 432 pages, ISBN 0375420754, $29.50. Paperback: Vintage Books, ISBN 0375725016, $15.00.
I dont envy the editors of Best of compilations, particularly this one. Every year, fine essays about business are published in magazines and newspapers like Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper, and even Mother Jones, and these editors are challenged to pick the best and give them a second life in this compilation. Those who follow business writing throughout the year may not agree with each selection presented in such a volume as this, but I think this second annual is a fascinating, and accurately representative, grouping of writings. Really, what a year it was! There certainly was no shortage of topics to write about: The disaster, the stock market, and, of course, 9-11, and the subsequent economic downturn. But it is not all doom and gloom. I read a fun essay on customer service from Fast Company and an revealing article on Michael Milkens activities in the past couple years from The New Yorker written by best-selling author James B. Stewart. The essay from Mother Jones is an in-depth look at the phenomenon that started a few years ago called direct to consumer advertising for prescription drugs that points out some serious issues this practice has raised.
This is the book to put in your briefcase before you leave for a trip or even a doctor/dentist (re: waiting room) appointment, since it is always great to have something brief to read while you wait. If you arent going to buy it, heres a tip (I cant believe Im suggesting this!): Go to your local bookseller, grab a copy of the book, find a quiet corner and, at the very least, read the two and a half page essay Bruce Nussbaum wrote for BusinessWeek about 9-11. He really nails it, and that essay itself, as well as this book, is not to be missed.