Profiles in Folly: History’s Worst Decisions and Why They Went Wrong

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9781402747687: Profiles in Folly: History’s Worst Decisions and Why They Went Wrong

Using the same engrossing anecdotal format that has proved so popular in Profiles in Audacity, Alan Axelrod now turns to the dark side of audacious decision-making: those choices that, in retrospect, were shockingly wrongheaded.  Although Axelrod investigates some dumb decisions by stupid people and some evil decisions by evil people, the overwhelming majority of these decisions were made by good, smart people whose poor judgment produced disastrous, often irreversible results. The 35 compelling and often poignant stories, which range from ancient times to today, include: The Trojan Horse; the Children’s Crusade; the sailing of the Titanic, and the false belief that it just couldn’t sink; Edward Bernays’s 1929 campaign to recruit women smokers; Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis; Ken Lay’s deception with Enron; and even the choice to create a “New Coke” and fix what wasn’t broke. As with Profiles in Audacity, the deftly drawn vignettes will pique interest, satisfy curiosity, give pleasure, and present valuable lessons. And in addition to offering the same insightful analysis of the decision-making process, Folly also includes objective post-mortems that explain what went wrong and why. These are cautionary tales—albeit with exquisite twists ranging from acerbic to horrific.

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About the Author:

Alan Axelrod is the author of more than 60 books on subjects covering history, business, and management, including the bestselling Profiles in Audacity, the CEO series, and the Real History series. He has appeared on MSNBC, the Discovery Channel, CNN, Fox, and numerous radio news and talk programs, including NPR. Axelrod and his work have been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, Men's Health, Cosmopolitan, and many newspapers, including USA Today.

From Publishers Weekly:

Prolific author Axelrod (Elizabeth I, CEO, The Real History of World War II) has an engaging writing style and a good eye for telling incidents, making his 35 "cautionary tales" of bad decisions (and their deciders) illuminating and interesting. Covering a swath of history from 1250 B.C. to 2005, Axelrod begins with the Trojan Horse ("The Decision to Let Danger In") and ends with President Bush and Hurricane Katrina ("The Decision to Stop Short of Leadership"). Axelrod ends each story with an admonition; the Trojan War illustrates "wars whose cost vastly outweighs the original cause and the potential gain," and Katrina exposes the President as "a man content to vacation in the eye of a storm." This is popular, broad brush-stroke history, and Axelrod's opinions sometimes overreach, but the book is entertaining and occasionally surprising (as in the Japanese preparation for the assault on Peal Harbor). Axelrod helpfully includes a list of recommended reading for each incident covered.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Sterling Publishing Co Inc, United States, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Using the same anecdotal format that proved so popular in Profiles in Audacity , Axelrod now turns to the dark side of decision-making: those choices that, in retrospect, were shockingly ill-advised. Although some were made by stupid or evil people, the majority were made by smart people whose poor judgment produced disastrous, often irreversible results. The 35 profiles range from ancient times to today and include: The Trojan Horse; the sailing of the Titanic, and the false belief that it just couldn t sink; Neville Chamberlain s appeasement of the Nazis; Ken Lay s deception with Enron; and even the choice to create a New Coke and fix what wasn t broke. As with Profiles in Audacity , the deftly drawn vignettes will pique interest, satisfy curiosity and present valuable lessons. And in addition to offering the same insightful analysis of the decision-making process, also included are objective post-mortems that explain what went wrong and why. Bookseller Inventory # LVN9781402747687

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