“Ms. Midanek combines historical research, personal experience, and current debates in a compelling read. Her book provides context for many of today’s discussions about the role of corporations and who’s in charge.”

Gwen Finegan

Non Profit Board Member and Strategic Advisor to Health Care Systems

“The author is an anthropologist who brings back great stories of that weird tribe that are corporate directors; she describes boardroom cultures, often dysfunctional, and shows us how to move and improve them.  She is a social psychologist, alert to examples of conformity pressures, groupthink, and emergent leadership in board meetings. She is an economist, bringing the interests of creditors, stockholders, and customers into board deliberations. Her voice is personable and inviting; the experience and examples in this book can encourage seminar discussions across the social sciences.”

Clark McCauley

Research Professor of Psychology, Bryn Mawr College Founding Editor Emeritus, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict Co-Director, Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict

“Exhale. Inhale.
For a long time we believed the employees, suppliers, contractors, customers and the country as a whole were also stake-holders. In my opinion, it would be healthy to bring back that idea. Nonetheless, the author’s focus on long-term planning and management would be a big step in the right direction. But, more to the point: the book is beautifully written and understandable even to a dull layperson.
This book is a must-read not only for current and prospective directors but for anyone who wants to understand the concept of corporations and the way in which they are and should be managed. Brava to this author who dives into the real heart of the way we got to corporate America as it exists today and the right path to righting our ship! She has gone in depth to the complexities of the relationships between shareholders, management and directors and has explained it so that a general readership can understand. This book is enlightening, provocative and fun!”

John Cook


“Drawing on her encyclopedic knowledge of business history and decades of practical experience inside corporate boardrooms, Deborah brilliantly illuminates and breathes life into dry and dusty concepts like fiduciary duties, maximizing shareholder value, and exercising reasoned business judgment.  Deborah encourages corporate directors to flex their collective corporate governance muscles to enthusiastically participate in building robust businesses that serve and reward every constituency today and lay foundations of opportunity for future generations.”

Peter A. Chapman

Publisher, Beard Group, Inc.

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