THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN BUSINESS: Participants' Own Accounts of Their Lives and Ventures by John -- Ed. Brooks

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN BUSINESS: Participants' Own Accounts of Their Lives and Ventures

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If we can believe some of the accounts here, the first rule on the road to riches is to live by the Golden one, and it's a marvel the way early tycoons successfully (in more ways than one) professed Fundamentalist pieties while holding hands with the Bitch Goddess. And indeed J.C. Penney named his chain the Golden Rule Stores and hired only non-drinking, non-smoking (the air in the men's room must have been thick with it) executives at lower salaries than they'd been accustomed to ""as a test of loyalty and faith."" Henry Ford also called for ""deep faith,"" ""righteousness,"" ""justice"" and ""humanity in industry,"" and at the same time saw nothing wrong with his theory that the way to promote the well-being of laborers was to help them do more work. ""Repetitive labour,"" Ford loved to expound, ""is terrifying,"" but only ""to a certain kind of mind,"" certainly not to the average worker who only ""wants a job in which he does not have to think."" In time the corporate mind developed more sophistication and the nineteen essays here -- on General Motors, the birth of Life, Xerox, the labor movement, etc. -- are nicely balanced and, surprisingly, make good reading. That key to success? Mae West was right on the mark -- goodness has nothing to do with it.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday