The Temps

Our second story excerpt from The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice is “The Temps.” This story makes it clear that things are not always rational in the workplace.

June 18-25, The Dysfunctional Workplace is on sale for $20! Use code DW17 at checkout at our website or call 800-621-2736.


As the calls poured in the supervisors made their best effort to train and supervise the temps. However, this work was made much more difficult by the fact the temps only stayed a few weeks or months and were moved to other jobs by the temp agency. After all they were temps and not permanent employees. This continuous turnover undermined the ability to train them to meaningfully answer patient questions, because each new temp had to learn the job anew, “from scratch.”

After a few months of this the CEO understood he had to hire full-time employees. He had been avoiding doing this because of the expense. The temps and their marginal productivity were cheaper than recruiting and hiring qualified people. It was at this point that the poor customer support on the contracts began to attract negative attention of the two large employers. They began to threaten to pull their contracts. The fear of losing the contracts brought the hiring process to a halt before full-time employees were hired. The temps would have to do. This created a self-fulfilling prophecy and the contracts were ultimately lost.


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THE DYSFUNCTIONAL WORKPLACE
Theory, Stories, and Practice
Seth Allcorn and Howard F. Stein

ISBN: 978-0-8262-2065-3 • Hardcover • 220 pp. • 6 x 9

Now on sale for $20 (regularly $45), June 18-25. Use code DW17 at checkout at our website or call 800-621-2736.

The Empty Office


Today, we present the first in a five-day series of story excerpts from The Dysfunctional Workplace: Theory, Stories, and Practice by Seth Allcorn and Howard Stein. Their book – which uses a psychodynamically informed perspective to help readers understand why colleagues and bosses can behave in destructive ways – is on sale all week!

June 18-25, The Dysfunctional Workplace is on sale for $20! Use code DW17 at checkout at our website or call 800-621-2736.

The following excerpt is from “The Empty Desk” in the chapter, “The Geography of Organizational Darkness.”


While consulting with a computer company, an organizational consultant, Robert, had an interview with one of the company’s financial managers, Joan. The subject was her experience of a recent downsizing. Joan was almost out of breath as she spoke. There was panic in her voice. Her story goes as follows.

Am I glad to see you today! Robert, the strangest thing happened Monday. I was off sick Friday. I came in to work on Monday morning and the office next to me was cleared out. There was a desk, a chair, a computer, a couple of file cabinets and bookcases, a wastebasket. And that’s it. Empty. I still can’t believe it, and it’s already Friday. It’s like there’s a big hole in this place. I knew the guy ten years. His name is Don. He was one of our number crunchers. A quiet guy who and just did his work. It seemed like he was always here, always working. He is a computer whiz anyone in the unit could go to for a computer glitch. We aren’t–maybe I should say weren’t, since he’s gone–weren’t exactly friends, but we worked together a lot on projects. He was kind of part of the furniture.

It’s so eerie. I’m numb over it. I keep going next door to look in his office expecting to see him. Maybe I’m imagining that he’s gone, and he’s not. But the place is so empty.


allcorn-stein_dysfunctional_72

THE DYSFUNCTIONAL WORKPLACE
Theory, Stories, and Practice
Seth Allcorn and Howard F. Stein

ISBN: 978-0-8262-2065-3 • Hardcover • 220 pp. • 6 x 9

Now on sale for $20 (regularly $45), June 18-25. Use code DW17 at checkout at our website or call 800-621-2736.

Spycraft and John le Carré

Intelligence and counter-intelligence, leaks and wiretaps, hackers, a dossier, and a trail  of dead Russians: the topic of espionage has been front and center in the news since reports of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Commentary on the various angles and off-shoots of the evolving story can be heard nightly on cable news, given by ex-KGB operatives and former FBI double agents.

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Hardcover: 978-0-8262-2099-8 $50.00

This might be a good time to read up on who CIA agents (using pseudonyms) rate as the most realistic spy writer: John le Carré.

An ex-intelligence officer himself, le Carré quit MI6 to write full time after the success of his third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. As author Robert Lance Snyder says in an interview with Spy Write,

It does make sense … that a career devoted to generating cover stories and fictional scenarios for the sake of expediency should prompt many real-life spooks to become writers. Rare, though, is the intelligence agent who, like Maugham in Ashenden (1928) or Greene in The Confidential Agent (1939) and Our Man in Havana (1958) or of course le Carré, can make something more of the genre—expose its element of imposture and self-betrayal.

Snyder’s John le Carré’s Post–Cold War Fiction frames le Carré’s ten post–Cold War novels as a distinctive subset of his espionage fiction in their response to the momentous changes in geopolitics, particularly the “War on Terror” and transnationalism. In the same interview, Snyder explains his interest in writing this book: 5614180531_cc3a33ebb7_b

I was annoyed that few if any mainstream scholars seemed to respect the evolving coherence of his ten post-Cold War novels after The Secret Pilgrim (1990), particularly as they address the mired complexities of George W. Bush’s vaunted “War on Terror” in an age of transnationalism, surveillance, and globalization. Given these complexities, with which le Carré wrestles in all of his post-Cold War fiction, my study proposes that he is one of the preeminent ethicists in contemporary literature, given his concern for human rights and social justice.

During this time when spies are in the spotlight instead of the shadows, in addition to the swirling conspiracy theories and fake news, the ways in which deception misleads and ultimately betrays us is especially clear and le Carré is particularly relevant. Espionage in the end, as le Carré has said on more than one occasion, is a metaphor for the ruses by which we deceive ourselves.


Praise for John Le Carré’s Post–Cold War Fiction

“Snyder convincingly makes the case that le Carré’s work is far more significant than mere genre fiction. In this respect Snyder links le Carré’s liberal humanism with that of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Graham Greene.”—Myron Aronoff, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Political Science, and Jewish Studies, Rutgers University, author of The Spy Novels of John le Carré: Balancing Ethics and Politics

“Snyder skillfully directs us toward Le Carre’s central revelation:  that the various whirlwinds that Western democracies have inherited since the Wall’s fall have been sown by their own arrogance, ignorance, and complacency.”—Cates Baldridge, Middlebury College, author of Graham Greene’s Fictions: The Virtues of Extremity

“Brilliant, insightful, and very, very comprehensive.”—David R. Willingham, publisher, Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres

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John Le Carré’s Post–Cold War Fiction
Robert Lance Snyder
Hardcover • ISBN: 978-0-8262-2099-8
$50.00 • 280 pp. • 6 x 9

Black Chicago’s First Century

Chicago mapChristopher Robert Reed’s Black Chicago’s First Century, 1833-1900, is now available in paperback.

Twenty-first-century readers might assume that a comprehensive history of early Chicago’s multifaceted African American population has existed for a while now. However, it was not until Christopher Reed published his book in 2005 that a written history became available. Now this history is available in paperback too.

“Christopher Robert Reed has gone through old Reed guardsnewspapers (including hard-to-find African American papers), oral histories, and a range of archival sources to provide an extraordinary overview of African American life in Chicago from the moment Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable settled his family by the Chicago River at roughly the location where present-day Michigan Avenue crosses it to the point in 1898 when African American troops marched out of the city on their way to fight in the Spanish-American War. The result is a complex look at a long and complicated history.”—Journal of American History

Reed on PBSSee Dr. Reed, a consultant on PBS’s documentary DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis, talk about Chicago’s first settler, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable’s French and entrepreneurial influence on the city.

Christopher Robert Reed is retired Professor of History at Roosevelt University in Chicago. His most important credential is his connection to the heart and soul of Chicago—its people and their history. He is a native Chicagoan who attempts to blend a love of place with a holistic, scholarly view of what made Chicago and its citizens behave as they have done and presently do—that is, dynamically. An original resident of the South Side’s historic Bronzeville community, he is a permanent resident of the city where he is active in civic, community and political affairs.

A Baatan Death March Survivor: The Firsthand Account of an American POW, 75 Years Later

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David L. Hardee, 1918

Seventy-five years ago the U.S. armed forces took aggressive action in both the European and Pacific Theaters of World War II. One of the men serving in the Pacific, Colonel David L. Hardee, endured the little rations, long Bataan Death March, and years of monotonous work. After liberation, while returning to the United States from April to May 1945, Hardee dictated an account of his war experiences and time as a prisoner of war. This candid narrative, written while events were fresh in his mind, details the grim realities facing the American and Filipino forces on Bataan, the depravity of Japanese treatment of prisoners, and the complex relationship between the American POWs and their Japanese captors. This memoir has now been edited by Frank A. Blazich, Jr. and published as Bataan Survivor: A POW’s Account of Japanese Captivity in World War II.

On September 24, 1941, Lieutenant Colonel David L. Hardee received orders assigning him to help mobilize and train one of ten reserve divisions of the Philippine Army.

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American troops huddled in a foxhole in Bataan

Hardee had barely settled in Manila before the Japanese launched simultaneous attacks on American military forces in Hawaii and the Philippines. At Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Pacific Fleet sustained heavy losses. On the island of Luzon, Japanese air attacks caught the bulk of the Far East Air Force (FEAF) on the ground. The attacks destroyed half of the American aircraft, effectively eliminating FEAF. On December 10, the first Japanese forces landed on northern Luzon, and two days later an additional force landed in the south. The destruction of the FEAF and the swift advance of the Japanese forced General MacArthur to withdraw his forces to the Bataan peninsula.

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Prisoners walking from Bataan to Camp O’Donnell

Hardee and the regiment remained on the front lines of Bataan for over two months, withstanding air and artillery attacks. Outmanned, outgunned and unsupplied, the Americans and Filipinos were overwhelmed by the Japanese. Despite General MacArthur’s orders to never surrender, General King surrendered at the Japanese 14th Army headquarters near Lamao on April 9, 1942. This surrender is now known as the Bataan Death March when American and Filipino forces moved north to Camp O’Donnell during a ten-day march and movement by rail. It was an 85-mile journey.

Hardee arrived at Camp O’Donnell on April 25. He remained there for forty days until “about June 5, 1942 when I, with many more of my group, was moved to Cabanatuan,” Hardee wrote. He was a POW at Cabanatuan until October 26. Then on November 8 he arrived at Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) and spent 19 months there.

While picking coffee in March 1943, Colonel Hardee suffered a severe abdominal hernia. He became debilitated; as each day passed, his body grew weak. Hardee, said that his hernia kept him from getting transferred to Japan, which most likely also kept him alive. A majority of POWs transferred to Japan died en route.

On June 26, 1944 Hardee arrived at Bilibid Prison. Then on February 4, 1945, the American infantry from the 2nd Battalion, 148th Infantry moved towards Bilibid. Hardee and the other POWs were now freed.

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Our Switch to Seaweed Paper

seaweedIn response to budget concerns throughout Missouri, and in alignment with our goal to reduce our impact on the environment, the University of Missouri Press has decided to switch from industry-standard paper to seaweed and algae-based paper in our book production.

Seaweed absorbs far larger quantities of carbon dioxide than land plants, and the process str2_waseaweed_li_5by which pulp is produced is more environmentally friendly than the process of making wood pulp. This paper not only cuts down on the use of new wood fibers, it uses algae taken from the Lake of the Ozarks as part of an environmental cleanup and protection program.

F619F1803CD441B5914B0833FD398030The seaweed paper’s colors range from a speckled light gray to subtle sea shades of purple, the texture and coloring varying, depending on the season and the location where the algae is gathered. It does have a faint fishy smell, but this will be an advantage for certain books, such as Lisle Rose’s Power at Sea series: descriptions of the Navy crossing the Atlantic during WWI will be particularly vivid.

Another advantage to seaweed paper, when used with soy ink, is that it is edible, although some books will be more easily digested than others.

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Listening Deeply and Why It’s So Important at this Moment

By Edward Knop

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Edward Knop is Emeritus Professor and Former Associate Director for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Colorado State University.

In the wake of the 2016 US presidential election many people are raising questions about what went so wrong with our anticipation and understanding of the outcome, with the reaction of so many in the country who were  apparently left feeling diminished, even betrayed, by seemingly uncaring corporations and ineffectual government—matters of organizational structure and culture—without fully understanding related processes of globalization, demographic shifts, technology and environmental change at work.

Analysts recognize people’s pessimistic perceptions as a predictable human reaction to such long-term processes of change.  Yet there is considerable truth in the public frustrations evidenced, as organizations are in fact rather emotionally neutral, commonly uncaring and unresponsive to personal concerns, with consequences for the efficiency and effectiveness of the collective and its people.  The question then becomes:  what could and should have been done about the situation earlier and now?   One key answer is in Howard Stein’s powerfully insightful, delightfully written and exemplified, thoroughly relevant and vastly new edition that summarizes the situation as a past failure and ongoing need for all involved to Listen Deeply to the personal concerns of others—carefully, patiently, empathetically in a way that honors their story with its embedded facts and feelings—as well as considering our own related objective and subjective reactions.  This, he convincingly argues, not only gives more complete insights for management actions but also is directly therapeutic itself.

stein-listening-jacket-catThe book focuses on the intersection of organizational and personal concerns in various subject settings—industrial, administrative, educational, medical and others—in which common themes emerge as challenges—dehumanization, alienation, reaction, resignation, disintegration—each of which can be helped by processes of Listening Deeply.  Stein delivers his simultaneously profound yet practical insights in easily-understood, interesting narrative using bits of preface and explanation wrapped around illustrative stories that give feeling to the points.  This is much of the method of deep listening.  Other method themes will be recognized by some academics as parts of the psychoanalytic and Post Modern literatures.  While the first edition of the book (1994) was a widely-valued contribution to the literature on organizational culture, it was probably enough ahead of its time to have not been as appreciated as it should have been.  Those times of expanded social awareness are now, to which Stein adds more than twenty years of experience and insights, making the present book much improved and especially relevant to current concerns and crises of life in and of social organizations and societies dominated by them.

Listening Deeply can be ordered from the Chicago Distribution Center at 800-621-2736 or orders@press.uchicago.edu.

Listen: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War

Adam Arenson, Professor of History at Manhattan College discusses his book The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War. Dr. Arenson illuminates how the American Civil War expanded beyond military battles, ultimately causing a cultural civil war among North, South, and West, as their leaders sought to shape Manifest Destiny and slavery politics.

The Great Heart of the Republic is on sale for only $10 until May 1st! Use code GHR17 at our website.

What Ozark Vigilantes of the 1880s Reveal about Modern America

All U.S. vigilante groups are in some way a representation of the American value of self-government. We are a society that was founded, at least in part, on the firm belief that the people have the right to create their own institutions of government, what is referred to as the “right of revolution,” expressed right there in the Declaration of Independence. If the government is not doing what it’s supposed to, if it’s not protecting the people’s liberties, if it’s not serving the people’s interest, we have the right to rise up and replace that government. The problem is, you cannot do that on a continuous basis and have a stable society.–Matthew Hernando

Lisa Hix has written about the intriguing Bald Knobbers, based, in large part, on Faces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks and a discussion with the author, Matthew Hernando. Read the fascinating article here:

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Novelty and Networks in the Ivory Tower

By Andrew Porwancher

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Andrew Porwancher is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage at the University of Oklahoma.  This piece has been adapted from his book, John Henry Wigmore and the Rules of Evidence: The Hidden Origins of Modern Law (University of Missouri Press, 2016).

As academics, we inhabit a world of two conflicting truths.  The first truth is that, even in fields as seemingly solitary as the humanities, we can only produce our best work with the help of others.  Hardly islands unto ourselves, we exist in networks of colleagues, editors, and mentors.  To be sure, all of us labor independently, but we rely on others who recognize the value of those our labors, refine our scholarship, and promote our work.  Among the most vital networks from which we benefit comprises those researchers who came before us, who fertilized the terrain for the growth of our own ideas.

This truth that networks matter sits uncomfortably alongside another truth—the incentive structure of academia calls on us to distance ourselves from other scholars.  To advance in our fields, we must create scholarship that is deemed original.  We must be explicit about how we diverge from our predecessors.  Too often, this premium on novelty encourages us to downplay intellectual debts and overstate the ingenuity of our own ideas.

What are we to make of this conflict? How are we to reconcile these truths? Can we harmonize this premium on novelty with the reality that we are deeply indebted to networks of intellectual patronage? The story of John Henry Wigmore offers unique answers to these questions.

Wigmore was the legendary dean of Northwestern Law whose exhaustive treatise on evidence law came to dominate the practice of jury trials after its publication in 1904.  This treatise reflected Wigmore’s predisposition to acknowledge rather than efface intellectual debts.  Perhaps as a result of his own deteriorating relationship with his parents, Wigmore saw in older jurists not targets but father figures. That is not to say that Wigmore never critiqued seasoned judges and scholars.  But to a greater extent than his peers, he built his career by cultivating—not caricaturing—his elders.  Wigmore was an exceptionally cerebral person who fulfilled his longing for human companionship by finding intellectual common ground with others, both older and younger, both mentors and protégés.

Praise for John Henry Wigmore and the Rules of Evidence:

“[It] will become the standard work on the subject, and more than that, will contribute to emerging clarity in the field of early twentieth-century legal ideas more broadly.”—Noah Feldman, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, author of Cool War: The Future of Global Competition

“It evidences a close reading of Wigmore’s work and extensive work in the archives at Harvard and Northwestern, bringing to light a good deal of new material on the connections among important figures in ‘legal modernism.’”—Robert P. Burns, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, author of Kafka’s Law: The Trial and American Criminal Justice