Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The First Circle

There are many novels that give a better picture than management books of how various organizations operate.

I'm currently reading and enjoying Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The First Circle" and would definitely place it in that category. An excerpt:

The offices in this building increased in size according to the rank of their occupants. The desks grew larger. The conference tables with their velvet tablecloths grew larger. But the portraits of the Great Generalissimo grew largest and fastest of all. Even in the offices of ordinary interrogators his portrait showed him far larger than life size. And in Abakumov's office the Most Brilliant Strategist of All Times and Peoples was portrayed on a canvas fifteen feet tall, full length from his boots to his visored marshal's cap, in the glitter of all his orders and decorations. (In fact, he never wore these honors, many of which he had awarded to himself, or received from foreign presidents and potentates.) Only the Yugoslav decorations had been carefully painted out.

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