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The History of Work


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgements Introduction Hands To The Grindstone Fettered Lives Job Creation The New Religion of Work The Most Important Pile of Bricks in the World Secrets of the Dumb Steeple The Silent Monitor The Last Puritan in a Nation of Amateurs The Yellow Dog Unleashed The Philadelphia Catechism Modern Times Western Electric Discovers Motivation Unnatural Selection Arbeit Mach Frei Whatever Happened to Homer Sarasohn Managing the Corporate State The Wanting Animal Sharp-Suited Philanthropists The End of Management Melting the Frozen Assets The Road to Panama One Life. Live it. Postscript: New Century, New Ethic Notes Index

About the Author

RICHARD DONKIN is one of the UK's leading thinkers on employment. For fourteen years he wrote a weekly column on work and employment in the Financial Times that became required reading for human resources professionals and recruiters. Today he works as an author, commentator and presenter on management and employment issues. Donkin undertakes regular speaking engagements and consultancy work. He is a former adviser to the Future Employment Working Group of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and an honorary visiting fellow in the faculty of Management at Cass Business School.


'Richard Donkin is a humane, thoughtful writer who has spent years considering the changing shape of work.' - Financial Times

Review for the original edition Blood Sweat and Tears:

'This book is huge. In every good sense of the word. It certainly belongs on the bookshelf of every leader and every scholar in the area of management and organizational life.' - Warren Bennis, author of the bestselling On Becoming a Leader

'There are a lot of books about work and employment. Richard Donkin has written a book that stands apart from the rest. Blood Sweat& Tears is engaging and intelligent reading, rooted in both historical and personal understanding and insight.' - Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, USA and author of The Human Equation: Building Profit by Putting People First

'A rich and varied treasure trove. Donkin is a great storyteller.' - Management Today

'An absorbing, thoughtful and stimulating read for anyone involved with directing or managing business enterprises.' -The Director

'Powerful and wide-ranging.' - Times Literary Supplement.

'A must read.' - Scotland on Sunday

'This work poses thoughtful questions about our definition of work and is recommended for academic and business libraries.' - New York Times

'Mr Donkin has turned the dull as nails question of what labour is through history in to a page turner of a book.' - The Globe and Mail, Toronto

'This historical analysis of the Protestant work ethic makes for provocative reading in an age of unprecedented affluence.' - Harvard Business Review.

'A crie de coeur for the white collar middle class.' - The Washington Book Review.

'An intelligent and thoroughly readable analysis of the nature of work.' - Business Books.

'Donkin introduces excellent and intellectual analysis about the theories, practices and individuals that have helped change and change the working world.' - United Press International.

'An excellent primer on the human dynamics and great possibilities of the new economy.' - Don Tapscott

Review for The Future of Work:

'Richard has written one of the best histories of work and now repeats the trick looking forward at the future of work. Separating popular myths and dogma from the truly transforming trends in the workplace, he ably reveals what is, will and should be happening at work in response to key environmental, social and business changes. Essential reading for executives with any responsibility for people in work and for all those of us trying to plot our own way successfully through this shifting employment landscape.' - Duncan Brown, Director, HR Business Development, IES

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