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Blood, Sweat & Tears is a captivating history of work, from prehistoric times to the present day. It offers fascinating and intelligent analyses of the individuals, assumptions, theories, developments, and practices that have so much changed work. Based on detailed research from around the world, the author examines early societies, slavery, the guilds, the creation of trade secrets and the influence of religion on work (such as the humanist ideals of the great Quaker industrialists). Donkin also investigates the ideas of the theorists, such as F. W. Taylor, Max Weber, Elton Mayo, Mary Parker Follett, and W. Edwards Demming, and the impact they have had on our lives. And, controversially, the author challenges the work ethic on behalf of all those whose lives have increasingly become subsumed by the demands of employers, asking the question: Why do we do it?
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For six years, British journalist Richard Donkin made the study of work his vocation, and in Blood, Sweat & Tears he places defining moments from its historical development into a cohesive and revealing picture. Literally starting with when humans first began perfecting recognizable employment skills, Donkin examines the critical milestones that followed and the ways they fit together. Citing sources as disparate as The Dilbert Principle and Peter Drucker's The Future of Industrial Man, he addresses the impact of slavery, organized religion, the time clock, child labor, unionization, the mid-20th-century workplace appropriations of the German and Japanese governments, women on the factory floor and in the boardroom, and current management trends. While cautioning against further interweaving of work into the "texture of our domestic existence," he notes that this transformation is but the latest in an age-old process. "The concept of revolution," he concludes, "is wholly inadequate in describing the changes in the way we live and this thing we call work." --Howard RothmanAbout the Author:
Richard Donkin is a leading columnist and writer on the Financial Times newspaper, specializing in work and management topics. He regularly appears on radio and contributes to leading magazines on issues relating to business. He lives in London with his wife and children.
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