Read The Organization Man: The Book That Defined a Generation by William H. Whyte Free Online
Book Title: The Organization Man: The Book That Defined a Generation|
The author of the book: William H. Whyte
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Loaded: 1109 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
Edition: University of Pennsylvania Press
Date of issue: May 1st 2002
ISBN 13: 9780812218190
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.86 MB
Read full description of the books:
I changed this to a 3 1/2 on the assumption that if I read it again (assuming I could get through it) I'd think a bit more of it than I did 53+ years ago.
(originally posted 1/25/13)
I read this book fifty years ago now, in the summer of '62. It was to be read before starting my freshman year in college.
I don't think I got much out of it. Although I had had good marks in high school, I came from a small town in the Midwest. My classmates in college were mostly from big high schools in the east. Some of them may have been sophisticated enough to see what Whyte was talking about, or more likely just recognized their own fathers from his narrative. My dad was a school teacher in that small town, hence had nothing in common with Whyte's Organization Man; and hence I really didn't know what he was talking about, I suppose. It was a long time ago.
The other thing was, one had to have something of a grown-up point of view to take in a book like this, it certainly wasn't written for kids. But when I entered college, I was a kid. I learned about grown-up outlooks, things of real interest to adults, how to be an adult in college. Kids in, adults (or, adults-on-the-way) out. That was college for me.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Hollingsworth "Holly" Whyte (1917 - 12 January 1999) was an American urbanist, organizational analyst, journalist and people-watcher.
Whyte was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania and died in New York City in 1999. An early graduate of St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, he graduated from Princeton University and then served in Marine Corps. In 1946 he joined Fortune magazine.
Whyte wrote a 1956 bestseller titled The Organization Man after Fortune magazine sponsored him to do extensive interviews on the CEOs of corporations such as General Electric and Ford.
While working with the New York City Planning Commission in 1969, Whyte began to use direct observation to describe behavior in urban settings. With research assistants wielding still cameras, movie cameras, and notebooks, Whyte described the substance of urban public life in an objective and measurable way.
These observations developed into the Street Life Project, an ongoing study of pedestrian behavior and city dynamics, and eventually to Whyte's book called City: Rediscovering the Center (1988). City presents Whyte's conclusions about jaywalking, 'schmoozing patterns,' the actual use of urban plazas, appropriate sidewalk width, and other issues. This work remains valuable because it's based on careful observation, and because it contradicts other conventional wisdom, for instance, the idea that pedestrian traffic and auto traffic should be separated.
Whyte also worked closely with the renovation of Bryant Park in New York City.
Whyte served as mentor to many, including the urban-planning writer Jane Jacobs, Paco Underhill, who has applied the same technique to measuring and improving retail environments, Dan Biederman of Bryant Park Corporation, who led the renovation of Bryant Park and the Business Improvement District movement in New York City, and Fred Kent, head of the Project for Public Spaces.
His books include: Is Anybody Listening? (1952), Securing Open Spaces for Urban America (1959), Cluster Development (1964), The Last Landscape (1968; "about the way metropolitan areas look and the way they might look"), The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (1980; plus a companion film of the same name in 1988), and City: Rediscovering the Center (1988).