The Firm by Duff McDonald
The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business

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He also emphasizes the firm's defense that they only provide advice; others choose whether to implement it. A fast-paced account of a key business institution, its deeds and misdeeds.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The story of McKinsey & Co., America’s most influential and controversial business consulting firm, “an up-to-date, full-blown history, told with wit and clarity” (The Wall Street Journal).

If you want to be taken seriously, you hire McKinsey & Company. Founded in 1926, McKinsey can lay claim to the following partial list of accomplishments: its consultants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological change to the nation’s best organizations; they remapped the power structure within the White House; they even revo­lutionized business schools. In The New York Times bestseller The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald shows just how, in becoming an indispensable part of decision making at the highest levels, McKinsey has done nothing less than set the course of American capitalism.

But he also answers the question that’s on the mind of anyone who has ever heard the word McKinsey: Are they worth it? After all, just as McKinsey can be shown to have helped invent most of the tools of modern management, the company was also involved with a number of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they were K-Mart’s advisers when the retailer tumbled into disarray. They played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron.

McDonald is one of the few journalists to have not only parsed the record but also penetrated the culture of McKinsey itself. His access puts him in a unique position to demonstrate when it is worth hiring these gurus—and when they’re full of smoke.
 

About Duff McDonald

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A contributing editor at The New York Observer, Duff McDonald has also written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, New York magazine, Fortune, and Esquire, among other publications.
 
Published September 10, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 401 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 29 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Firm
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 17 2013

He also emphasizes the firm's defense that they only provide advice; others choose whether to implement it. A fast-paced account of a key business institution, its deeds and misdeeds.

Read Full Review of The Firm: The Story of McKins... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Blog Critics

Below average
Reviewed by A. Jurek on Oct 10 2013

That creative faculty is something that McKinsey has not been able to provide and perhaps a core of creative types, design thinkers and other out of the box ideators is what McKinsey needs to become relevant again in the new changed business landscape where innovation is of such immense importance.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by STEWART PINKERTON on Sep 06 2013

"The Firm" offers a good dissection of the collapse of McKinsey's most notorious client, Enron, vaporized by the company's CEO (and McKinsey alumnus) Jeffrey Skilling, now a guest of the U.S. government.

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Business Week

Good
Reviewed by Adam Sternbergh on Sep 05 2013

...through an expert accretion of damning detail, McDonald builds a convincing case that, for better and (mostly) worse, McKinsey became the quintessential American business of the 20th century.

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BrodartVibe's Blog

Good
Reviewed by Chris on Aug 22 2013

The book sites a large number of works to compile the book, plus it is noted McKinsey & Company was cooperative in the author’s research. The author is a financial journalist.

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