Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Peter Cochrane
Danny Wirken

Charles Handy

The New Alchemists

There have been plenty of books for entrepreneurs, giving advice on how to run their business. The New Alchemists by Charles and Elizabeth Handy is somewhat different, in that it is a series of short articles on existing entrepreneurs, and so aims to give an example for aspiring entrepreneurs to follow.

The articles are generally 6 pages, comprising one page with just the title, two pages with Elizabeth Handy's photographs of the subject, and three pages of text. Some of the subjects are well known, such as Trevor Baylis and Richard Branson.. Other articles are look at people running small enterprises. The book includes people running non-profit organisations as well as those involved in more traditional businesses.

Unfortunately I found the layout of the book wasn't really what I would have liked. The choice of subjects were based on those who the Handy's felt set an example, which other people might usefully follow, but this does not really come through in the short articles. Also the photographs are an important part of the book, but as they are before the text it is very easy to skip over them - they would be better mixed in with the text (even if they didn't look so artistic). Having said that, the articles are very readable, and it would suitable for reading in odd moments. In summary this is very much a coffee-table book. info
ISBN: 0091874351
Salesrank: 20708996
Published: 1999 Arrow/Children's (a Division of Random House
Marketplace::Used from $751.67
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Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 0091802156
Salesrank: 2141345
Weight:1.98 lbs
Published: 1999 Hutchinson
Marketplace:New from £2.99:Used from £0.01
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ISBN: 0091874351
Weight:2.05 lbs
Published: 1999 Arrow/Children's (a Division of Random House
Marketplace::Used from CDN$ 767.46
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Product Description
A fascinating and inspirational investigation into the creative and entrepreneurial process.

What drives some people to create something from nothing? Is it ambition, the need for self-fulfillment? Is it about money, power, or even genes? Or, is there a mood of the time that encourages people, and can anyone do it?

The world needs new ideas, new products, new kinds of associations and institutions, new initiatives, art and designs. But these new things seldom come from established organizations. They come from individuals — Charles Handy calls them the New Alchemists, and he has talked to a range of extraordinary people — from Trevor Baylis and Richard Branson to Jane Tewson and Terence Conran — to hear from them the secret to turning basic ideas into creative gold. Elizabeth Handy has used her new style of composite portraits to highlight aspects of all the different alchemists in their particular environments.

From the Trade Paperback edition.