Ahead of the Curve offers a good sense of Harvard Business School's day-to-day workings, everything from what the other students are like to the merits of each lecturer to impressions of business titans such as Warren Buffett and Stephen Schwarzman, who revolve through the doors offering pointers on how to get filthy rich. Broughton makes a delightfully clueless guide.
The Washington Post
This debut by a former journalist at the Daily Telegraph of London chronicles the author's love-hate relationship with the Harvard Business School, where he spent two years getting his M.B.A. Beginning with a confessional account of his disillusionment with journalism and conflicted desire to make money, 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. Simultaneously repelled by his aggressive fellow capitalists in training-their stress-fueled partying and obsession with wealth-and dazzled by his classes, visiting professors and the surprising beauty of business concepts, Broughton vacillates between cautious critique and faint praise. Although cleverly narrated and marked by a professional journalist's polish and remarkable attention to detail, this book flounders; it provides neither enough color nor damning dirt on the school to entertain in the manner of true tell-alls. The true heart of the story is less "b-school" confidential than a memoir of Broughton's quest to understand the business world and find his place in it. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In 2004, 31-year-old Delves Broughton, then New York and Paris bureau chief for the London Daily Telegraph, gave up the rigors of daily international journalism to join 900 other would-be tycoons at Harvard Business School in a quest to become wealthy. He shares his experiences here. The rich, solid narration by Simon Vance (see Behind the Mike, LJ11/15/08) is distinctly British, the author's own background. This work arrives at an opportune time; the audio is valuable as people ponder deeply whether they should go to business school, given the current climate. Highly recommended for university libraries.
What it takes to become a Master of the Universe (aka, an MBA). Broughton, sophisticated Paris bureau chief for the London Daily Telegraph, figured he needed a change. Learning accounting might be just the thing, he thought. So he entered Harvard Business School, class of 2006. There, the naif in matters commercial joined a student body largely composed, it seemed to him, of McKinsey alumni, military veterans and earnest Mormons. He took the dodgy but requisite personality test and assiduously devoted himself to macroeconomics, entrepreneurship, operations management, regression analysis, spread sheets, growth projections and, of course, leadership. All around him, student industrialists, pretend hedge-fund chieftains, pubescent investment bankers, acolyte venture capitalists, pretend Gordon Gekos, Rupert Murdoch wannabes and eager beavers channeling robber barons-classmates the author treats seriously and with respect-acquired the slogans, buzz words, jargon and acronyms considered de rigueur accessories to the HBS Master of Business Administration. Broughton summarizes the history of the school, first of its kind when founded in 1908. He reviews the ubiquitous case studies and depicts the learned profs and puissant guest speakers who invariably promoted a passion for challenge and leadership. A naturally proficient writer, now facile in matters financial, the author asserts that he enjoyed his two-year stint. Yet he had the faintest suspicion that the "transformational experience" HBS sold was missing something in the way of humanity. Faculty and visiting autocrats of the boardroom preached that family always came first, but these pundits and plutocrats never followed their own advice.The astute Broughton (sole member of his class without a job at graduation) reveals much about a place that caters to smart students who seek a path to wealth beyond Trumpian dreams of avarice. A discerning tour through the vaunted Hogwarts of capitalism. Agent: Tina Bennett/Janklow & Nesbit
" Destined to become required reading for prospective B-school entrants. . . . As an insider's account of an influential institution, [it] hits every mark."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"An insightful and entertaining, behind-the-scenes glimpse at a powerful institution."
" What makes this a particularly absorbing and entertaining read is the combination of journalistic detachment and the sense of personal alienation that Delves Broughton, a Brit in an American system, feels as he struggles to come to terms with what it means to be a Harvard MBA."