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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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50. THE JOBS DEPART

IN THE LATE SEVENTIES no one watched the reaction of the American auto industry to the Japanese challenge more closely than Harley Shaiken, a young professor at MIT. Shaiken, an expert on technology, had gained exceptional insight into the dramatic changes taking place in the American workplace, in part because of his formidable intellect and in part because of the years he spent, before finding his place in academia, as a worker on the line at a GM plant. By 1980 Shaiken had become very pessimistic about the future of the American blue-collar worker.

Most other academics and industrial experts, concerned with the decline of American heavy industry, were focusing almost exclusively on Japan. But Shaiken believed they were ...

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