Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #111: The Economist Book of Business Quotations edited by Bill Ridgers

Reviewing books of quotes is a mug's game, and I do not intend to be a mug. However, I am doing this Book-A-Day thing, and this here is the book that I finished today. So let me see if I can say anything coherent and/or useful about it.

That book is The Economist Book of Business Quotations, edited by Bill Ridgers, a staff writer at the eponymous pinko (in color and in nothing else) broadsheet newspaper British-based newsmagazine. It's a small-format hardcover, with a little more than two hundred pages of quotes in a moderately-sized type and similar leading, arranged alphabetically by topic and all on some aspect or other of the working and financial world. The quotes occasionally dip back to Shakespeare, and I noticed one biblical quote, but, for the most part, they start at the first Gilded Age of a century and a quarter ago and mostly cluster in the second half of the 20th century, so that they will be familiar to The Economist's readers.

Most of those quotes, as you'd expect, are along the Gordon Gecko line: they reassure Economist readers that spending all of their time in dogged pursuit of ever more money by crushing the competition and selling their wives and chattels into slavery is entirely a good thing. There are a few contrary quotes, from comedians and other media figures and some others, but there are a whole bunch of Jack Welch quotes to counterbalance those, and quotes from others who are probably equally as sociopathic as he is.

If you want to know how the ruling class thinks, this is a scattershot and incomplete but moderately comprehensive look at that. And many of the quotes are amusing or interesting in their own right, as well -- particularly if you're the kind of person who hoards quotes (as I used to be, before the flood of '11 destroyed that hoard). And if you're looking for something to put in the annual report to justify shutting down that entire division and shipping their jobs to China, well... you've already had your secretary buy this with company money, haven't you?

Update, April 23: Thanks to Anonymous for pointing out that I had completely confused The Economist with The Financial Times in my headlong flow of snark above. The two news outlets are actually completely separate tools of the oppressive global ruling class, and Antick Musings regrets the error.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe you are confused about your financial news empires. The Financial Times is the one printed on salmon-colored paper. The Economist is a newsmagazine in all but name, and is printed in the manner and color of other glossy magazines.

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