Wooldridge, Adrian 1959-

views updated

WOOLDRIDGE, Adrian 1959-

PERSONAL: Born November 11, 1959, in Shrewsbury, England; son of Graham and Jennifer (maiden name, Stanley; present surname, Newnham) Wooldridge; married Amelia Blacker, July 16, 1994. Education: Balliol College, Oxford (first class honors), 1980; All Souls College, Oxford, D.Phil., 1985. Politics: "Free market."

ADDRESSES: Home—19 Parma Cres., London SW11 1LT, England. Office—Economist, 25 St. James's Sq., London SW1 1LT, England; fax 01-71-771-8263. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Oxford University, Oxford, England, fellow of All Souls College, 1980–94; Economist, London, England, journalist, 1988–, Washington, DC, bureau chief and Lexington columnist. University of California, Berkeley, Harkness fellow.

MEMBER: Beefsteak Club, Reform Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Financial Times/Booz Allen Hamilton Global Business Book Award on Strategy and Leadership, for The Witch Doctors.


Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England, 1880–1990, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

(With John Micklethwait) The Witch Doctors: What the Management Gurus Are Saying and What It Means for You, Your Career, and Your Company, Times Books (New York, NY), 1996.

(With John Micklethwait) A Future Perfect: The Essentials of Globalization, Crown Business (New York, NY), 2000.

(With John Micklethwait) The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2003.

(With John Micklethwait) The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, Penguin Press (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: British journalist Adrian Wooldridge has published books addressing a wide range of subjects, including business, psychology, and politics. In his first title, Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England, 1880–1990, he focuses on the historical debate over the nature of intelligence. In addition to providing an overview of international thought on the subject, the author offers "a useful reflection upon how the major ideological currents in Britain have engaged with different concepts of human nature and human potential," according to Marek Kohn in a New Statesman & Society review. Kohn went on to describe the effort as a "thoughtful account of the debate." Robert Skidelsky, writing in the Economist, commented: "This is a fascinating and deeply researched … history of psychometry."

Wooldridge has teamed up with John Micklethwait to write several of his books, including The Witch Doctors: What the Management Gurus Are Saying and What It Means for You, Your Career, and Your Company. Based on a worldwide research project, the book explores companies that have implemented new management techniques. David Rouse, writing in Booklist, noted that the authors "provide the information necessary to help sort out the successes from the failures" in various management techniques. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the authors "have built their fair-minded, balanced critique around hotly debated issues in modern management … making this a useful, thoughtful tool." In a review for Washington Monthly, Tim Carvell wrote: "Overall, they've produced a readable primer on management which neatly boxes the compass of all the major theorists and their ideas. It may very well be the only management book of the past decade worth reading."

In another collaboration with Micklethwait, Wooldridge released A Future Perfect: The Essentials of Globalization. This time the authors provide an indepth look at the concept of globalization, exploring such issues as what drives the process and how governments and political institutions help or hinder it. They also include numerous case studies and an indepth analysis of how globalization affects individuals, countries, and the world. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "an estimable effort." Nick Greifer, writing in the Government Finance Review, considered it to be "a clearly written introduction to globalization that provides an overview of the subject while separating the hype from the reality."

The two authors take an in depth look corporate history in The Company: A Short History of A Revolutionary Idea. Starting with the shipping ventures that served as precursors to the modern-day concept of companies, Wooldridge and Micklethwait outline the impact that the development of the company concept has had on history. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the book an "entertaining and even charming excursion in business history, largely unburdened by formulas and numbers but full of debate stirring data." Michael Arndt, writing in Business Week, concluded that "the ground they … cover is worth exploring."

The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America is a study of American conservatism from the British perspective of Wooldridge and Micklethwait. "It is this Tocquevillian quality of informed impartiality that makes their book so effective," observed a Publishers Weekly contributor. William D. Pederson, writing in the Library Journal, commented, "The author's viewpoint and writing reflect the magazine for which they work: both are highly articulate, intelligent, [and] insightful." In a review in Mother Jones, Michael Kazin asserted, "A keen grasp of history and demographic trends firms up their prose, which is spiked with the dry wit that seems the birthright of every Oxford graduate."



Booklist, October 15, 1996, David Rouse, review of The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus, p. 388.

Business Week, March 24, 2003, Michael Arndt, review of The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, p. 22.

Canadian Journal of History, August, 1996, Pauline M.H. Mazumdar, review of Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England, c. 1860–1990, p. 333.

Christian Science Monitor, March 13, 2003, Wayne E. Yang, review of The Company.

Economist, December 10, 1994, Robert Skidelsky, review of Measuring the Mind, p. 97.

Entertainment Weekly, March 14, 2003, Alynda Wheat, review of The Company, p. 70.

Government Finance Review, August, 2000, Nick Greifer, review of A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalization, p. 57.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003, review of The Company, p. 43.

Library Journal, March 1, 2003, Dale Farris, review of The Company, p. 100; June 1, 2004, William D. Pederson, review of The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, p. 158.

Mother Jones, July-August, 2004, Michael Kazin, review of The Right Nation, p. 81.

National Review, April 7, 1997, Andrew Stuttaford, review of The Witch Doctors, p. 50; August 9, 2004, Ramesh Ponnuru, review of The Right Nation, p. 43.

New Statesman & Society, November 11, 1994, Marek Kohn, review of Measuring the Mind, p. 38.

Publishers Weekly, October 21, 1996, review of The Witch Doctors, p. 67; April 24, 2000, review of A Future Perfect, p. 72; May 10, 2004, review of The Right Nation, p. 50.

Washington Monthly, January-February, 1997, Tim Carvell, review of The Witch Doctors, p. 48.


A Future Perfect, http://www.afutureperfect.com/ (July 29, 2003), "A Conversation with John Micklethwait and Adrian Woodridge."

USA Today Online, http://usatoday.com/ (July 29, 2003), Bruce Rosenstein, review of The Company.