A Functioning Society
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A Functioning Society : Community, Society, and Polity in the Twentieth Century

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Peter F. Drucker may be best known as a writer on business and management, but these subjects were not his foremost intellectual concern. Drucker's primary concerns were community, in which the individual has status, and society, in which the individual has function. Here he has assembled selections from his vast writings on these subjects. This collection presents the full range of Drucker's thought on community, society, and political structure and constitutes an ideal introduction to his ideas.

The volume is divided into seven parts. The selections in parts 1 and 2 were mostly written during World War Two and in the wake of the Great Depression. Part 3 deals with the limits of governmental competence in the social and economic realm. It contains some of Drucker's most influential writings concerned with the difference between big government and effective government. The chapters in part 4 explore autonomous centers of power outside government and within society. Part 5 contains chapters from Drucker's path-breaking work on the corporation as a social organization rather than merely an economic one. The rise of the so-called "knowledge industries" forms the background for part 6. The concluding part 7 is devoted entirely to Drucker's long essay "The Next Society." Drucker examines the emergence of new institutions and new theories arising from the information revolution and the social changes they are helping to bring about.

In organizing these representative writings, Drucker chose to be topical rather than chronological, with each excerpt presenting a basic theme of his life's work. As is characteristic of his efforts, A Functioning Society appeals both the general reader as well as a cross-disciplinary scholarly readership.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 266 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0765801590
  • 9780765801593
  • 1,865,175

Table of contents

Introduction: Community, Society, Polity


Part 1: Foundations


1. From Rousseau to Hitler


2. The Conservative Counter-Revolution of 1776


3. A Conservative Approach


Part 2: The Rise of Totalitarianism


4. The Return to Demons


5. The Failure of Marxism


Part 3: The Sickness of Government


6. From Nation State to Megastate


7. The Sickness of Government


8. No More Salvation by Society


Part 4: The New Pluralism


9. The New Pluralism


10. Towards a Theory of Organizations


11. The Society of Organizations


Part 5: The Corporation as a Social Institution


12. The Governance of Corporations


13. The Corporation as a Social Institution


14. The Corporation as a Political Institution


Part 6: The Knowledge Society


15. The New Worldview


16. From Capitalism to the Knowledge Society


17. The Productivity of the Knowledge Worker


18. From Information to Communication


Part 7: The Next Society


19. The Next Society
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Review quote

-Since coming to America more than a half-century ago, Peter Drucker has been high among our creative thinkers, producing a whole bookshelf on management and society, the past and the future. Here is an opportunity to read a cogent selection of his works, picked by the man himself, that shows not only individual insights but an integrated and engaging Weltanschauung.-

--Robert L. Bartley, Wall Street Journal "Since coming to America more than a half-century ago, Peter Drucker has been high among our creative thinkers, producing a whole bookshelf on management and society, the past and the future. Here is an opportunity to read a cogent selection of his works, picked by the man himself, that shows not only individual insights but an integrated and engaging Weltanschauung."

--Robert L. Bartley, Wall Street Journal "Since coming to America more than a half-century ago, Peter Drucker has been high among our creative thinkers, producing a whole bookshelf on management and society, the past and the future. Here is an opportunity to read a cogent selection of his works, picked by the man himself, that shows not only individual insights but an integrated and engaging Weltanschauung."

--Robert L. Bartley, "Wall Street Journal" "Since coming to America more than a half-century ago, Peter Drucker has been high among our creative thinkers, producing a whole bookshelf on management and society, the past and the future. Here is an opportunity to read a cogent selection of his works, picked by the man himself, that shows not only individual insights but an integrated and engaging Weltanschauung."

--Robert L. Bartley, "Wall Street Journal"
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About Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker has been Clarke Professor of Social Sciences and Management at Claremont Graduate School in California since 1972. He is the author of The Ecological vision, The Concept of the Corporation, The New Society, The Future of Industrial Man, The Age of Discontinuity, The End of Economic Man, The Pension Fund Revolution, Landmarks of Tomorrow, and Adventures of a Bystander, all available from Transaction.
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