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  • Published: 3 October 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529112771
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $26.99

When McKinsey Comes to Town

The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm

The explosive exposé of the billion-dollar company that has often made our world more unequal, more corrupt and more dangerous.


An explosive exposé of a firm whose work has made your world more unequal, more corrupt and more dangerous.

McKinsey & Company have earned billions consulting almost every major corporation in the world - and countless governments, including our own. Shielded by NDAs, their practices have remained vague - until now.

In this propulsive investigation, prize-winning journalists Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe reveal the jaw-dropping reality. McKinsey's work includes ruthless cost-cutting in the NHS, troubleshooting for Big Oil, executing Trump's immigration policies (the ones that put children in cages) as well as advising some of the world's most unsavoury despots.

'A story of secrecy, delusion and untold harm' OBSERVER

'Makes you so angry...the evidence the authors winkle out is astonishing' SUNDAY TIMES

'Panoramic, meticulously reported and ultimately devastating' PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE

'A harrowing account of decades of dishonourable exploits' ECONOMIST

  • Published: 3 October 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529112771
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $26.99

About the authors

Walt Bogdanich

WALT BOGDANICH is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He has been awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his investigative journalism. He previously produced stories for "60 Minutes," ABC News and The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in journalism from Ohio State University.

Michael Forsythe

MICHAEL FORSYTHE is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. At Forbes was part of a team that won the George Polk Award in 2013. Mr. Forsythe is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served on ships in the Seventh Fleet. He has a B.A. in international economics from Georgetown University and a Master's degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.

Praise for When McKinsey Comes to Town

Hypocrisy, avarice, ridiculous PowerPoints, aiding and abetting the world's polluters and drug companies. Every page made my blood boil as I read about McKinsey's flawed reasoning and the vast profits made from ethically dubious work for governments, polluting companies and big pharma

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate, author of The Price of Inequality

In government and the private sector, the influence of McKinsey is difficult to overstate. Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe penetrate the firm's vaunted culture of secrecy to expose the malign ways in which McKinsey's 'scientific management' ends up impacting all of our lives. Panoramic, meticulously reported and ultimately devastating, this is an important book

Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Empire of Pain

Two of the finest investigative reporters in the business got behind the wall of secrecy erected by one the world's most influential companies. A revelatory - and disturbing - portrait of a powerful firm whose vaunted reputation is belied by its actions

Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side

After the publication of When McKinsey Comes to Town, the secretive consulting firm is going to need its own management consultant to address the damage. A tour de force of investigative reporting

James B. Stewart, author of Den of Thieves

Deeply reported ... The portrait this book creates is one of a company chasing profits, spreading the gospel of downsizing and offshoring, its leaders virtually unmoored from any guiding principles or moral code ... a clear and devastating picture of the management philosophy that helped drive the decline of a stable ... middle class over the last 50 years'

The New York Times

A masterful work of investigative journalism ... to unearth conflicts of interest, corruption, hypocrisy and strategic blunders that read like a prosecutor's indictment ... The fact that neither regulators, the public, nor most of McKinsey's employees knew about these sordid episodes ... is a testament to the authors' prowess as investigative reporters ... superb

Washington Post

A harrowing account of decades of dishonourable exploits


Hard-hitting ... damning ... If you think what management consultants do is to dress up common sense in jargon and flog it as vision to credulous executives, you are, according to [Bogdanich and Forsythe], greatly underestimating their impact

The Times

With McKinsey's deep reach into business and government around the world, it is inevitably and correctly a focus for discussion on what modern corporations are for ... That this internal turmoil has come to light is testament to the depth of sourcing of journalists Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe [whose] reporting of these and other controversies has intensified questions over the firm's ethics ... The debate ... is intensely uncomfortable for McKinsey's leadership'

Financial Times

'A lengthy and damning charge sheet ... makes you so angry you want to chuck rocks at its offices ... the evidence the authors winkle out is astonishing ... What sustains you are the authors' eye for detail and killer quotes. If you want to know why top pay for US executives has risen to a record 350 times that of the average worker, look to McKinsey

Sunday Times

New York Times reporters Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe's devastating investigation into the consulting firm uncovers a story of secrecy, delusion and untold harm. ... The book's scrutiny - and measured sense of outrage - is overdue and, you hope, only the beginning


A highly informed, fascinating read

The Guardian

Can you trust those clever folk at the consulting firm McKinsey? ... This book shows that McKinsey & Company has a darker side.

The Times, *Best Business Books of 2022*


The Week

Excellent investigative work ... Every chapter of When McKinsey Comes to Town lays out another disturbing case in which McKinsey worked against the public interest

Literary Review

An investigative tour de force [that] strip[s] away the aura of respectability that has surrounded the profession for more than a century


[An] account...based on exhaustive research... [which] makes for compelling reading

Times Literary Supplement