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Extended Audio Sample Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School, by Philip Delves Broughton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (995 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Delves Broughton Narrator: Simon Vanc Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the century since its founding, Harvard Business School has become the single most influential institution in global business. Twenty percent of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are HBS graduates, as are many of our savviest entrepreneurs (e.g., Michael Bloomberg) and canniest felons (e.g., Jeffrey Skilling). The top investment banks and brokerage houses routinely send their brightest young stars to HBS to groom them for future power. To these people and many others, a Harvard MBA is a golden ticket to the Olympian heights of American business.

In 2004, Philip Delves Broughton abandoned a post as Paris bureau chief of the London Daily Telegraph to join 900 other would-be tycoons on HBS’s plush campus. Over the next two years, he and his classmates would be inundated with the best—and the rest—of American business culture, which HBS epitomizes. The core of the school’s curriculum is the “case”—an analysis of a real business situation, from which the students must, with a professor’s guidance, tease lessons. Broughton studied over 500 cases and recounts the most revelatory ones here. He also learns the surprising pleasures of accounting, the allure of “beta,” the ingenious chicanery of leveraging, and innumerable other hidden workings of the business world, all of which he limns with a wry clarity reminiscent of Liar’s Poker. He also exposes the less savory trappings of business school culture, from the “booze luge” to the pandemic obsession with PowerPoint to the specter of depression, which stalks too many overburdened students. With acute and often uproarious candor, he assesses the school’s success at teaching the traits it extols as most important in business—leadership, decisiveness, ethical behavior, and work/life balance.

Published during the 100th anniversary of Harvard Business School, Ahead of the Curve offers a richly detailed and revealing you-are-there account of the institution that has, for good or ill, made American business what it is today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The audio is valuable as people ponder deeply whether they should go to business school, given the current climate.”

    Library Journal (starred audio review)

  • “Broughton provides an account of his experiences in and out of the classroom as he struggles to survive the academic rigor and find a suitably principled yet lucrative path…Cleverly narrated and marked by a professional journalist’s polish and remarkable attention to detail.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kara Kanaby | 2/6/2014

    " A very good look at Harvard Business School by a journlist who wanted to get his MBA. Funny, horrifying (are these people really running our businesses??) and makes you think "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Roopal | 1/30/2014

    " Fairly quick read and definitely an interesting perspective on the revered Harvard Business School in light of the market crash of 2008. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marcia | 1/9/2014

    " If you went to business school, are thinking about going to business school, or wonder what people learn in business school this book is great. I found it captivating. Every once in a while he gets too text booky but overall this guy sounds like me. I would have hated HBS. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by G Marcus | 12/19/2013

    " interesting perspective on Harvard Business school "

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