We can all be heroes in the perfect world of business bestsellers

"Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive," by Charles Duhigg

13th March, 2016
Debris belonging to crashed Air France flight AF447 in Brazil: Duhigg argues that the pilots were afflicted by ‘cognitive tunnelling’ Picture: AP

Books of business wisdom are in the business of selling a comforting illusion. The world, they implicitly promise, is a story – or, to put it another way, the world can be understood, and hence manipulated. Nudge reality in just the right way, these books suggest, and money will come pouring out. (One of the most popular of these books is actually called Nudge.)

In the sunny uplands of the contemporary business bestseller, the world...

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