The End of Loyalty
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The End of Loyalty : The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America

3.9 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the current era of intense global competition, advancing technology, weakness in organized labor and a worshiping of "shareholder value," the idea of a corporate social contract in America has become largely a myth. Most big companies seek to minimize their commitments to employees, as job security, pay, healthcare and pensions have all taken a severe hit. The few that invest in worker morale and culture-such as Google-are hailed as bold and innovative. But they don't tend to employ many people.In this richly detailed and eye-opening book, Rick Wartzman shows that for many of America's greatest companies, it wasn't always this way. As WWII drew to a close, General Motors, General Electric, Kodak and Coca-Cola were among the nation's business giants that took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits, erecting what was essentially a private welfare state. These companies also believed that worker pay needed to be kept high in order to preserve morale and the quality of their product-as well as keep the economy humming. And, of course, productivity boomed.But it wasn't to last. By tracing the ups and downs of these four corporate icons over 70 years, Wartzman tells the story of the rise and fall of the social contact between employer and employee in America. As the narrative unspools, Wartzman works through the Golden Age of the '50s and '60s, the turbulent years of the '70s and '80s, and the rise of downsizing, outsourcing and instability that characterizes so many current companies. Taken together, these many acts comprise a kind of biography of the American Dream gone sideways.Told with energy and insight, The End of Loyalty shows that capitalism wasn't always the unfettered system that so many grieve about today, and makes the case that it doesn't have to stay that way.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 164 x 242 x 36mm | 666g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586489143
  • 9781586489144
  • 845,035

Review quote

"A brilliant, rogue history of American business's transformation over the past 75 years."--Forbes "The changing relationship between large American corporations and their workers in the 20th century provides the basis for this thoughtful and enlightening volume by Wartzman... Highly recommended for general readers and those interested in labor-management issues."--Library Journal "A sharp-edged examination of why large American employers shifted from loyalty to their workers to loyalty focused primarily on stockholders. Through deep reporting and anecdotal storytelling, former Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times writer and editor Wartzman delineates the often shameful evolution of policies by concentrating on four of the biggest corporations in the world: Coca-Cola, Kodak, General Motors, and General Electric... A lively history with relevance to every worker."--Kirkus "Wartzman, senior advisor at the Drucker Institute, explores what could be the defining questions of the twenty-first century-where we were, where we are, and where we are headed in terms of jobs and the nature of corporate America in all its bitter reality. His research is excellent and even-handed... Essential reading for those who have ever worried about their jobs."--Booklist "Wartzman, a senior advisor at the Drucker Institute, documents the deterioration of company-employee loyalty at some of America's corporate giants in this insightful economic history...This impeccably written treatise asserts that it's imperative for Americans to 'share our prosperity more broadly once again' and reinstitute a stronger social contract between corporate executives and the workers who make a company successful."--Publisher's Weekly "A timely and urgent book. Meticulously written and impressively researched, Rick Wartzman's The End of Loyalty is a penetrating account of the end of the golden years of American capitalism and the unraveling of the social contract. This book will be required reading for anyone hoping to understand our current age of anxiety."--Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger's Shadow and Fordlandia "In a lucid economic history of the last seventy-five years, Rick Wartzman's The End of Loyalty convincingly argues that the economic angst and political turbulence of our moment are linked to the collapse of a corporate social contract that guided American economic life for much of the twentieth century. While Wartzman places much of the blame for this problem on business and a growing obsession with profit, he challenges all of us-liberals and conservatives, CEOs and union members-to imagine what a new social contract might look like."--E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart and Why the Right Went Wrong "The End of Loyalty tells a story that needs to be told. Rick Wartzman vividly describes a world in which corporate leaders believed that good business meant generating value for their employees as well as their shareholders, an old-fashioned attitude whose time may come again. It's a great book."--Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America and author of Unfinished Business "The End of Loyalty is the rich story of how the corporate bonds that were once essential to American life have fractured. It's a prescient book that helps explain the rise of Donald Trump and why so many people feel anger and an acute sense of loss."--Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times "Rick Wartzman is one of America's finest journalists and this book reminds us why. The End of Loyalty is the story of an idea-that companies and workers are bound not just by formal agreements, but by a deeper social contract. With a historian's sweep and a novelist's eye for detail, Wartzman shows how that contract unraveled and what its demise means for all of us. This is a book people will be reading for many years to understand the American experience."--Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell Is Humanshow more

About Rick Wartzman

Rick Wartzman is a Senior Advisor at the Drucker Institute, where he was Executive Director until early 2016. His books include Obscene in the Extreme, The King of California, and What Would Drucker Do Now? A former writer and editor at the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, he currently comments on the future of work for Fortune online. He lives in Los Angeles.show more

Rating details

55 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 33% (18)
4 35% (19)
3 25% (14)
2 5% (3)
1 2% (1)
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