"Finally, a business story that reads like a novel, revealing character and plot in a way that no other business book has ever done."
—Anna Porter, author of Kastner’s Train
and former publisher and CEO of Key Porter Books
"An absorbing depiction of power in action, Into the Blast Furnace
is not your regular business book. The epic struggle of a principled CEO determined to revive a debt-ridden, time-warped grand old steel institution is at times almost poetic and at other times grim. There are rare glimpses of boardroom banter, labour-management discord, tangled court proceedings, and nasty characters fighting over the dying company’s corpse. Above all, the authors demonstrate how deep distrust among stakeholders destroys collaboration for the greater good. This book offers lessons — and entertainment — for business executives, government leaders, board directors, labour leaders and all those interested in the inner workings of corporations in dire straits."
—Dr. Anne Golden, president and CEO, The Conference Board of Canada
"A fascinating read. No matter how deep the alligators, Pratt never forgot that although Stelco was not a swamp he created, it was his job to drain it — without sacrificing decency and basic human principles. Imagine in this day and age a corporate CEO who actually cared about the people whose lives would be affected, possibly ruined, by the decisions of number-crunchers who looked no further than the bottom line! Pratt and Gaudet’s exposé of the cynicism, greed and machinations of many of the key players is particularly revealing."
—Richard W. Pound, Chairman, World Anti-Doping Agency
"An original, dare I say, unique work of art and intellection. Part thriller, part memoir, part history, and for all that I guarantee the best damn business book you'll read this year. Courtney Pratt puts the lie to Mencken's dictum that the businessman is unique "above the hangman and the scavenger...forever apologizing for his occupation." In saving Stelco from the noose Pratt created a model for responsible commercial practice that should serve as an example for generations to come. Into the Blast Furnace
is a turning point in business history. Long may it resonate."
—Douglas Bell, author of Run Over
and former features editor of Canadian BusinessFrom the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Courtney Pratt is one of Canada’s most accomplished business executives. He has served as a board director, chairman, CEO and president at four large corporations over the past two decades, including Noranda and Toronto Hydro. He is now a director for some of the country’s leading corporations and is involved with charitable, educational and health care organizations.
Larry Gaudet is the author of two acclaimed novels, Media Therapy
and The Peacekeeper’s Teahouse
, and the recently published nonfiction book Safe Haven
. He is also an experienced corporate writer, management consultant and intermittent venture capitalist.From the Hardcover edition.