Regarded as one of the most important sociological and business
commentaries of modern times, The Organization Man
developed the first thorough description of the impact of mass
organization on American society. During the height of the
Eisenhower administration, corporations appeared to provide a
blissful answer to postwar life with the marketing of new
technologies-television, affordable cars, space travel, fast
food-and lifestyles, such as carefully planned suburban communities
centered around the nuclear family. William H. Whyte found this
As an editor for Fortune magazine, Whyte was well placed
to observe corporate America; it became clear to him that the
American belief in the perfectibility of society was shifting from
one of individual initiative to one that could be achieved at the
expense of the individual. With its clear analysis of contemporary
working and living arrangements, The Organization Man
rapidly achieved bestseller status.
Since the time of the book's original publication, the American
workplace has undergone massive changes. In the 1990s, the rule of
large corporations seemed less relevant as small entrepreneurs made
fortunes from new technologies, in the process bucking old
corporate trends. In fact this "new economy" appeared to have
doomed Whyte's original analysis as an artifact from a bygone day.
But the recent collapse of so many startup businesses, gigantic
mergers of international conglomerates, and the reality of economic
globalization make The Organization Man all the more
essential as background for understanding today's global market.
This edition contains a new foreword by noted journalist and author
Joseph Nocera. In an afterword Jenny Bell Whyte describes how
The Organization Man was written.
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