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What did you love best about The Vanishing American Corporation?
The best thing about Professor Davis' Vanishing American Corporation is his dedication to diagnosing the problems confronted by this phenomena but, most refreshingly, is his pursuit of relevant solutions and practical advice for today's college students and recent graduates. Professor Davis attempts to do what most authors do not - to examine a problem's past, predict consequences for the future, and to offer solutions to the problem that both confront and take advantage of non-obvious opportunities that will empower, rather than victimize, the labor force.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vanishing American Corporation?
Part III: Consequences of Corporate Collapse. Professor Davis' examination of the relationship between the disappearance of the 20th century corporate form and the rise of the "sharing economy" to income inequality, social instability, and the increasing marginalization of the US labor force is a triumph of logic over passion.
What does Jeff Hoyt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Mr. Hoyt does an excellent job of bringing the author's voice to the narration. Instead of making this audiobook feel removed from its source or treating it as a sort of staid anthropological recounting of events (see, e.g., "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of Blackberry"), Mr. Hoyt's narration brings the story to life for the listener.
If you could give The Vanishing American Corporation a new subtitle, what would it be?
"How the fall of the traditional American corporation and the rise of the sharing economy threatens the marginalization of the US labor force, accelerates growing American inequality, and threatens the perpetuation of the American Dream".
Any additional comments?
Davis, a business school professor, has written a book whose content and conclusions resonate beyond the classroom and into the hearts and minds of every American. This book is as much prescriptive as it is academic and it deserves to be considered in conjunction with other works that seek to explain the increasing disillusionment of the average American with popular society and the money culture. It is best considered in the context of Thomas Picketty's "Capital in the 21st Century" and Lauren A. Rivera's "Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs" as a compendium to these earlier works.
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The familiar publicly-traded corporation in the title is but one major piece in a puzzle shown with great clarity here, from history through the present, of the economic and social order in USA which has been the basic organizing, structural backbone of most people's lives and livelihoods. A little patience is rewarded in getting the background and context, delivered here in a magnificent, clear US business history walk-through: you will be pretty sophisticated on this history after a few hours. This is several books in one, all converging on the stresses and changes on these central organizers, institutional and legal, and, given the present disruptions (also masterfully described, with a nice tutorial on the critical language and concepts, e.g., "uberization" of former careers and jobs into "micro-entrepreneurial" piece-work tasks) where this is heading, for anyone wondering about "navigating the hazards of a new economy." This is of vital interest to the investor as much as the worker, the parent, the educator, etc. The author does not stop at describing and warning of pitfalls and worries; he comes up with positive views and possibilities in the emerging economy. Throughout, there is a refreshing lack of BS razzle-dazzle in one direction or another. For those who treat "corporate" as a swear-word, try another view: US income equality topped out in the heyday of giant corporations, 1968. But there is no misty-eyed nostalgia either: we are where we are. The bell cannot be un-rung. Many facile assumptions about these things and eras are gently shaken, with new views layered on, and well backed by data and studies, without ever being tedious. Many thumbs up!
I wish in this presidential election year (2016) the bungling, inarticulate sideshows of the candidacies and the masses' rage and fear contained more sober discussions along these lines, which get smartly to the real underlying issues, and the potential solutions, both collectively and individually.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful