Publisher’s Note – Peter F. Drucker on Nonprofits and the Public Sector


This book is one of several volumes in the Drucker Library published by Harvard Business Review Press.

The essays in this volume were written between 1972 and 1981. When Peter Drucker collected them for this volume in 1981, he resisted, as he explains on page xii of the Preface, “the temptation to rewrite,” contending that it was “only fair to let the reader decide how well the author’s opinions, prejudices, and predictions have stood the test of time.”

Some fifty years later, readers may find Drucker’s language at times dated or inappropriate and some of his arguments controversial or utterly wrongheaded. But as editors, we too have chosen to resist the urge to tamper with the original texts, for we did not feel confident that we could always tell the difference between updating and censorship. Further, we believe that one of the many delights of these essays for current readers, who enjoy the advantage of complete hindsight extending over the entire period in which Drucker made predictions, is in judging how remarkably prescient and applicable so much of his thinking remains today.