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Invent Radium or I'll Pull Your Hair

by Doris Drucker

invent radium

Amazon link: Invent Radium or I'll Pull Your Hair: A Memoir

invent radium

The daughter of "German non-Jewish Jews," Drucker was three when WWI began.

Growing up in Germany, war was always around her, as were fierce left-right political battles.

A university student by the time Hitler came to power, she figured—like other "assimilated" Jews—that she should keep "a low profile until the Nazi tornado had passed over."

In this memoir, too, Drucker lays low politically, focusing on the story of her childhood under her mother's severe rule.

Drucker's mother hoped Drucker would become a scientist, and once shouted this memoir's titular phrase at her.

Drucker and her siblings weren't allowed opinions on anything, from whether they were hungry to what their doll's name might be to what courses they'd take at the university.

Although she'd studied abroad, Drucker only really left Germany in 1932, and not because she herself was worried, but thanks to a visiting Dutch relative who was appalled by Nazi street riots.

She found work in London, where she ran into her old flame, Austrian journalist Peter Drucker (who later became a management guru).

They married and emigrated to the U.S., where they've both had careers for the past 60 years.

Drucker, who went on to become a successful businesswoman, is in her 90s now, but her taste for irony is still sharp.

She recalls the gruesome stories—Grimm's fairy tales, the Nibelung saga—they read as kids, which they simply accepted as "part of our European heritage"; she reminds readers that the knights in armor they romanticized were "the original teenage gangbangers."

A feisty read!

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

All rights reserved.

doris drucker

Peter Drucker: Conceptual Resources

The Über Mentor

A political / social ecologist
a different way of seeing and thinking about
the big picture
— lead to his top-of-the-food-chain reputation

drucker business week

about Management (a shock to the system)


“I am not a ‘theoretician’; through my consulting practice I am in daily touch with the concrete opportunities and problems of a fairly large number of institutions, foremost among them businesses but also hospitals, government agencies and public-service institutions such as museums and universities.

And I am working with such institutions on several continents: North America, including Canada and Mexico; Latin America; Europe; Japan and South East Asia.” — PFD




List of his books


Large combined outline of Drucker’s books — useful for topic searching.




High tech is living in the nineteenth century,
the pre-management world.
They believe that people pay for technology.
They have a romance with technology.
But people don't pay for technology:
they pay for what they get out of technology.” —
The Frontiers of Management


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker

The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure

Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …

… “Managing Oneself is based on the very opposite realities: Workers are likely to outlive organizations (and therefore, employers can’t be depended on for designing your life), and the knowledge worker has mobility.” ← in a context




These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.

It’s up to you to figure out what to harvest and calendarize
working something out in time (1915, 1940, 1970 … 2040 … the outer limit of your concern)nobody is going to do it for you.

It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.

Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point



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