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June 27, 2006

News & Opinion: Recent WSJ Reviews of Business Books

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:40 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales


The Wall Street Journal has been picking up the pace a bit with their reviews of business books. You will rarely see them cover the genre, opting for politics, current events, and history. My understanding is that it has to do with where in the paper the reviews show up [The Personal Journal] and the editors that run the section.

In the last month, they have reviewed three books though. We mentioned the More Than You Know review a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to make sure we pointed you to the other two reviews.

On May 3rd (I know more old news, in this case I was clearing my desk this morning), WSJ wrote a review of Jeffery Gitomer's Little Red Book of Selling and Little Red Books of Answers. The first book now has 500,000 copies in print and appeared on WSJ's nonfiction and business best-seller lists a total of 71 times. The guest reviewer David Dorsey (author of The Force) writes:
...[W]hen Mr. Gitomer gets into details, his thinking is fresh and amusing. He offers five pages on crafting a good voicemail greeting. My favorite, though its facetiousness could wear thin after a few hearings: "Hi, this is Jeffery Gitomer. I wish I could talk to you but I can't. Please leave your American Express number with expiration date and I'll get right back to you." He claims three people dutifully recite the information and then hang up.

I think the piece is positive, but Dorsey takes a couple of digs for the simplicity of Gitomer's advice. He says that there really is nothing new in either of the books and that Gitomer is "useless" on some subjects. I can't argue with that.

Michael Silverstein and John Butman's Treasure Hunt was the book review that ran last Thursday. Laura Landro, a managing editor for the Journal, writes a lukewarm review. She feels it "occasionally reads like a brochure for BCG's services" and "uses somewhat glib pop psychology" to examine the featured consumers and households. Landro does like the authors take on growing gaps between luxury and cheap and how marketers can straddle the divide (for another take you can check out Jack's review from May).

Wall Street Journal - If you are listening, we would love to see the string continue.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.