Placing freelance articles in high-quality, selective publications is difficult. That makes Peter Drucker’s status as a freelance writer particularly impressive. Although he wrote a number of books that sold millions of copies worldwide, for many years he kept up a demanding regimen of writing a column for the Wall Street Journal, many articles for the Harvard Business Review, and major pieces for such publications as the Atlantic, Forbes, Harper’s and others. And as I wrote about in 2013, he did some fascinating foreign correspondent work for The Washington Post in 1938.

Courtesy of the Drucker Institute

Courtesy of the Drucker Institute

Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the breadth of these contributions is to look at the sources for some of his book collections:

Classic Drucker: Essential Wisdom of Peter Drucker from the Pages of Harvard Business Review

The Ecological Vision: Reflections on the American Condition: articles from Public Interest, Perspectives, Harper’s, The Review of Politics, Esquire, Forbes, Virginia Quarterly Review, Sewanee Review, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal and other publications

The Frontiers of Management: Where Tomorrow’s Decisions Are Being Shaped Today: articles from Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Forbes, Foreign Affairs, The Public Interest, Chronicle of Higher Education and other publications

Managing for the Future: the 1990s and Beyond: articles from The Economist, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Industry Week and other publications

Managing in a Time of Great Change: articles (or interviews) from Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, Industry Week, Wall Street Journal and other publications

Managing in the Next Society: articles from The Economist, Forbes ASAP, Foreign Affairs, Atlantic Monthly, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Leader to Leader, New Perspectives and other publications

Men, Ideas & Politics: Essays by Peter F. Drucker: articles from Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Sewanee Review, The Public Interest and other publications

Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management: articles from the Harvard Business Review

Technology, Management and Society: articles from Harvard Business Review, Management Today, The McKinsey Quarterly and other publications

Toward the Next Economics and other Essays: articles from Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, Public Interest, Wharton Magazine, Public Administration Review, Science, Harvard Business Review and other publications

As noted above, Drucker wrote for Leader to Leader, though long before I became managing editor.  And as he pointed out in the acknowledgments of some of these books, many of his articles were written to ultimately become published in these book collections. For instance, in Managing in the Next Society, he writes: “I always prepublish chapters of an essay volume such as this either as magazine articles or magazine interviews. This gives me professional editing by the editors of the magazines in which the pieces appear and by professional interviewers. It is “feedback” of a quality and insight I could not possibly attain any other way…”