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Fans of Peter Drucker probably won't be surprised to learn that his new volume, Managing in the Next Society (St. Martin's Press, $24.95), is not a how-to guidebook. With no maxims to memorize, readers will emerge from this collection of previously published articles feeling stimulated, as if they had had a conversation with a clever, unconventional acquaintance.

Drucker's discussion touches on a wide range of topics. These include the high failure rate of CEOs, the future emergence of many different kinds of corporations, the vitality of the nonprofit sector, and demographic upheaval--which he calls "the basic disturbance" of the 21st century.

But uppermost in the author's mind, it seems, is the role of knowledge workers. Given their control over the key resource, "knowledge workers collectively own the means of production," he asserts. They will be the ones who will transform society, and perhaps politics, over the next decades.

By Hardy Green

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