The End of Loyalty

  • by Rick Wartzman
  • Narrated by Rick Wartzman
  • 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Having a good, stable job used to be the bedrock of the American dream. Not anymore.
In this richly detailed and eye-opening book, Rick Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers - General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola - he shows how big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits. At the height of the post-World War II economy, these companies also believed that worker pay needed to be kept high in order to preserve morale and keep the economy humming. Productivity boomed.
But the corporate social contract didn't last. By tracing the ups and downs of these four corporate icons over 70 years, Wartzman illustrates just how much has been lost: job security and steadily rising pay, guaranteed pensions, robust health benefits, and much more. Charting the Golden Age of the '50s and '60s, the turbulent years of the '70s and '80s, and the growth of downsizing, outsourcing, and instability in the modern era, Wartzman's narrative is a biography of the American dream gone sideways.
Deeply researched and compelling, The End of Loyalty will make you rethink how Americans can begin to resurrect the middle class.

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What the Critics Say

"TheEnd 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)
"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)
"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

In-depth and interesting

The publisher's summary and the critics' blurbs are accurate.

I read (listened to) this book after I heard the author speak about the book on a podcast. It's a subject I've thought a lot about lately after nearly 40 years in the work place. I've never really felt that any company I worked for had a "social contract" with me, so I was curious to read about an era in which this was the case. While it was discussed, and there more of a social contract between employers and employees and you could work for one company most of your life, it didn't usually hold true for women and black people--and in the end, it wasn't the case for many people as the landscape of the working world changed.

Lots of interesting history of the companies the author focuses on, the rise and fall unions, management styles through the decades and so on.

This is not a book you can listen to with half an ear. It’s pretty dense but never boring.

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- NMwritergal

to look forward warrants a look back

I was so impressed by the author's recent NPR interview (7/2017) which I thought was so measured, insightful, thorough, as well as refreshing, that I had to give this
book a listen. I was not disappointed! ... I only wish I had known to ask my dad, now long deceased, more about his membership in the IBEW . Our family undoubtedly prospered in the 60's, 70's & 80's because of its influence.
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- kay mihelich

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-30-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio