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The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
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The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite

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A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.

With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School.

Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, "the golden passport to life in the upper class." Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.

Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: "the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways." While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.

In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily "secret" club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.

Title:The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
ISBN:0062347179
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:672 pages
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    The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite Reviews

  • Juliana Philippa
    Apr 11, 2017

    Heard about the book from article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/bu... The book is filled with anecdotal evidence of Mr. McDonald’s argument. In once instance, he draws from a paper Mr. Jensen...

  • Marks54
    May 20, 2017

    (I rated this a "3" but feel it more a "2.5". I enjoyed it enough to finish it but have issues. McDonald is a journalist who wrote a nice book on McKinsey. I had hoped he would do the same with HBS bu...

  • Kylewelch
    May 05, 2017

    Despite having my own issues with HBS, I have found this book to be simply a bad read. An uninformed, superficial interpretation of the school that is simply not worth the effort. Duff's book reads as...

  • Sean
    May 21, 2017

    Smug in its tone and almost deliberately critical, The Golden Passport nonetheless advances a needed dialogue on the role of business education and education more generally. Parsing through the histor...

  • Melanie
    Apr 27, 2017

    Interesting story on elite education....

  • Giles K. Kemp
    May 04, 2017

    Very disappointingMcDonald seems unable to overcome a disdain for Harvard Business School and market capitalism. The result is a snide tone which becomes quite grating and makes it difficult to apprec...

  • Adam
    May 18, 2017

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/econom......