I know, I know. A few months ago I told you I detested how-to business books. That was before I read Cracking the Japanese Market, by James C. Morgan, CEO of Applied Materials, and his son J. Jeffrey Morgan, president of RAD Technologies (The Free Press, 1991, $24.95). This extraordinary book sets a new standard for the genre. It is clear, literate, and authoritative. Although informed with first-hand experience, it has none of the anecdotal bravado that renders most CEO-authored texts unreadable and unreliable. And you don't need to be planning a move into Japan to benefit. Part three, "Succeeding in Japan," is a mini-M.B.A. program in its own right. If you do have your sights set on the Pacific Rim, you can take heart from Jim Morgan's example as well as his advice: during a visit to Inc., he told me that prior to becoming CEO of Applied Materials, in 1976, he had never set foot outside North America.

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