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Bill Mares and John Simmons
Working Together book cover

On a hiking trip with John Simmons (a Harvard class mate who was teaching at U-Mass Amherst) he told me of his growing interest in industrial democracy, of finding ways for workers to have more say in the workplace.      


For academics like John, the evil  had begun with the nineteenth-century engineer and inventor  Frederick Taylor and his theory of "scientific management"  that aimed to get the maximum output from workers using a tactic he dubbed  "the plum and the lash."    Eventually, these "time and motion studies" spawned  the rise of stronger labor unions in the 1930s. But by the 1960s and 1970s labor-management relations had again deteriorated.  Interest grew  in worker ownership, "quality of worklife" experiments, and cooperatives.   


I persuaded John to co-author a book about these developments. We pitched the idea to  Knopf,  which, mirabile dictu, they accepted with the caveat that we write a trade book for the general public. We happily complied and finished in three years. 

"Working Together"  had good sales and excellent blurbs, including this from Studs Terkel: "If ever a book were stunningly contemporary, this is the one.  Industrial democracy has been the dream of the American working men and women for more than a century. This book shows how it is done."  

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