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From the looms at colonial Lowell, Massachusetts, to the tire plants in Akron, Ohio, to Google's Project 02 in The Dalles, Oregon, the company town has mirrored the development of American capitalism. InThe Company Town, Hardy Green, former associate editor at BusinessWeek, shows how two strands of capitalism have competed for ascendancy: one, a utopian vision of care and concern, rooted in a paternalistic idea that companies should take care of their workers, represented by such locales as Hershey, PA; the other, exploitative and profiteering, in which owners extract as much work for as little compensation as possible, as demonic as the Harlan County coal mines. At once a riveting history, a stark social commentary, and an insightful tale of how business works (and how it should work),The Company Townis the story of the shaping of modern American capitalism.
Hardy Green is a former associate editor at BusinessWeek, where he was the steward of the magazine’s respected and influential book review section. He lives in New York City.