The Baffler

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Reading like a Bureaucrat


Before September 15, 1956, media-shy novelist William Faulkner had never sent a letter of solicitation to his literary friends, let alone one written at the behest of Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower. But that Saturday morning in Oxford, Mississippi, Faulkner set aside work on his novel The Town (1957) to draft the invitation letter for Eisenhower’s new People-to-People Initiative (PTPI): an independent, private organization of Americans...

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Better Management Through Belles Lettres

FALL 2015

At six o'clock on a Wednesday evening last spring, dozens of students at Columbia Business School jostled into William C. Warren Hall to learn how the study of literature might prepare them for executive success. They were there to attend “Leadership Through Fiction,” a three-hour weekly course led by adjunct associate professor Bruce Craven, a novelist and Hollywood screenwriter turned business school administrator. Craven was all smiles as he...