Writing a book, any book, is a major investment of time. Writing a book about a subject outside the scope of one's daily work—while seeking to perform that daily work effectively—is a great challenge, to say the least. That I was able to complete Selling the Dream is a testament to the valuable assistance of many people, including coworkers, colleagues, friends, and family members, who helped me juggle my various roles and projects during 2004 and early 2005.
Selling the Dream was based on an idea I had many years ago, after the publication of my first book, The Heroic Enterprise: Business and the Common Good. Having just studied and written on the subject of corporate social responsibility, I realized that while some business activities were poorly understood, and in some cases demonized, by academia, the news media, and the general public, the bum-rap award clearly belonged to sales. Creative tasks such as invention and innovation are exciting. Financial wizardry is impressive, sometimes mindboggling. Managerial or organizational talent is instructive. But what about the marketing process is worth celebration? Isn't it all about form over function, about artifice instead of authenticity, about the pitch rather than the product?
I do not think so, as you will soon discover.