A neoconservative critique of corporate America, whose impact is blunted by the author's insistence on documenting his...

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THE SUICIDAL CORPORATION: How Big Business Has Failed America

A neoconservative critique of corporate America, whose impact is blunted by the author's insistence on documenting his personal sense of betrayal and outrage. Following a stint at Fortune, Weaver accepted a job in Ford's PR department. Once on board (during the last two years of the Carter Administration), he discovered there was no demand for his zeal to issue ringing defenses of capitalism in general and auto-making in particular. To his professed horror, in fact, the author found Dearborn a hotbed of expedience, prevarication, inertia, corporatism, and other high crimes involving accommodations with government. (In relating his tour of duty, the sometime journalist sounds about as savvy as an ardent swain who's the last to learn his true love has been a lifelong hooker.) So, back with the magazine after a two-year sojourn in Motown, a sadder but wiser Weaver began rethinking his position on commerce and industry--his field research had confirmed his worst suspicions, i.e., that big business tends to play it safe, avoiding even calculated risks. Few if any large companies practice the free-enterprise principles top executives preach, and most prefer to lobby for public policies (like import restrictions and investment tax credits) that promote private interests rather than take their chances in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In many respects, Weaver's bill of particulars is right on the money, and he offers a wealth of uncommonly sensible suggestions as to how US business might kick its entitlement habit. But, unfortunately, he presents his conclusions on surviving and thriving in a brave new world marked by transnational rivalries with all the charm of a common scold. Better-balanced, wider-ranging, and less subjective commentaries on the socioeconomic status quo are available; one excellent alternative would be last year's The Bigness Complex, by Walter Adams and James Brock.

Pub Date: March 31, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988