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Entertaining and slightly shocking.

— Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Consistently entertaining and enlightening.

— Harvard Business Review

Gleefully revealing the magician’s tricks, Stewart takes readers on a whirlwind tour of how [the consulting] industry came to be a powerhouse. Filled with fascinating insider anecdotes and featuring a who’s who in the consulting world … this wry, absorbing book will enlighten executives about the value consultants actually bring to their clients.

— Publishers Weekly

Don’t go to business school. Study philosophy.

Fresh from Oxford with a degree in philosophy and no particular interest in business, Matthew Stewart might not have seemed a likely candidate to become a consultant. But soon, he was telling veteran managers how to run their companies.

Striking fear into the hearts of clients with his swift, sharp analytical tools, Stewart lived in hotel rooms and got fat on expense account cuisine – until finally, he decided to turn the consultant’s merciless, penetrating eye on the whole management industry itself – the business schools, the consultancies, the gurus, and those lavishly compensated CEOs.

How do so many who know so little make so much by telling other people how to do the jobs they are paid to know how to do? Why do people pursue expensive graduate degrees that have no demonstrable effect on their performance? Why do so many bad books of management advice sell so well? How can I get a job where I make millions in stock options and then leave my company in the dust?

Alongside his devastating critique of management “philosophy” from Frederick Taylor to Tom Peters, Stewart provides a bitingly funny account of his own days in an ethically-challenged management consulting firm.

W.W. Norton & Co. 2009