The Politics of Fortune


A New Agenda For Business Leaders


In The Politics of Fortune, Jeffrey E. Garten poses two questions:

What is the emerging shape of the world in the wake of both September 11 terrorist attacks and the corporate scandals that began with Enron? What role should business leaders play in this new era? In this controversial book, Garten recommends a bold but feasible new agenda for CEOs – one that will not only require them to rebuild their tarnished reputations, but to partner with government in charting a new course that differs radically from what we’ve known in the 1980s and 1990s.

Garten calls for business leaders to engage in constructive public initiatives to an extent that we’ve not seen since the immediate aftermath of World War II. He shows CEOs must change not just their corporate and public strategies but their way of thinking about their responsibilities – not only to their shareholders but to a broader society. He describes the challenges that they must confront and the concrete steps that they must take in a number of areas:

• Protecting homeland security
• Rebuilding trust in markets and corporate America
• Establishing a stronger foundation for free trade
• Devising better ways to reduce global poverty
• Expanding corporate citizenship abroad
• Charting a more effective foreign policy
• Reorienting business education for the new era

The Politics of Fortune contains critical insights for anyone who wants to better understand the context for the enormous changes sweeping over our country and our world, and the role that private enterprise must play in building a more secure and more prosperous future.


“Jeffrey Garten has written an extraordinarily important book calling for a vital partnership between business and government—a new paradigm for American leadership.”
– Arthur Levitt, former Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The Politics of Fortune goes a long, long way in defining the daunting agenda of today’s business leaders. Those who ignore Garten’s prognosis do so at their own peril.”
– Peter G. Peterson, Chairman, The Blackstone Group, and Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations

The Politics of Fortune is an extremely timely treatment of terrorism, the breakdown of integrity of financial markets, and the imperatives of operating in a global economy. Insightful reading for leaders around the world.”
– John Thornton, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

The Politics of Fortune calls for a new kind of business leadership in the United States and worldwide. Garten’s ideas are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the future of the international economy and the global society it serves. His agenda is imaginative, realistic, and compelling, but most of all, crucial in shaping our future.”
– Klaus Schwab, President, World Economic Forum

“Jeffrey Garten warns us that our future fortunes depend on a new breed of company leadership—less addiction to self-interest, more passion for public interest. Whether examining the challenges of homeland security, free trade, or corporate governance, he makes a persuasive case for business executives who transcend parochialism to see the common good. The Politics of Fortune has drawn a compelling roadmap—now we need the drivers.”
– Michael Useem, Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“Timely and on target, The Politics of Fortune provides a thoughtful and informed framework on leadership in the twenty-first century. Jeffrey Garten’s exploration of the challenges and opportunities that define our future will help successfully guide business leaders to meet the demands of customers, shareholders, employees, and society.”
– Dick Grasso, Chairman and CEO, New York Stock Exchange

“It’s a bold book that every CEO in America should read.”
Washington Post Book World