Annual Surprise

Upbeat or offbeat?

The corporate annual report may not be an art form that generally inspires much beyond a nod, a wink and a yawn. But when Manufacturers Hanover Corp., the fourth largest financial services organization in the nation, issued its 1981 annual report two weeks ago, the document contained a surprising dividend. Preceding the usual page after page of income and balance-sheet statistics was a sprawling, sunnily optimistic tour d'horizon of America itself, and the author was none other than Magazine Journalist and Novelist E.J. Kahn Jr., 65, a highly regarded staff writer at The New Yorker since 1937. The project,...

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