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Corporate Dreams
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Public trust in corporations plummeted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when “Lehman Brothers” and “General Motors” became dirty words for many Americans. In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes argues that Americans still place too much faith in corporations and, especially, in the idea of “values-based leadership” favored by most CEOs. The danger of corporations, he suggests, lies not just in their economic power, but also in how their confused and undemocratic values are infecting Americans’ visions of good governance.Corporate Dreams proposes that Americans need to radically rethink their relationships with big business and the government. Rather than buying into the corporate notion of “values-based leadership,” we should view corporate leaders with the same healthy suspicion that our democratic political tradition teaches us to view our political leaders. Unfortunately, the trend is moving the other way. Corporate notions of leadership are invading our democratic political culture when it should be the reverse.To diagnose the cause and find a cure for our toxic attachment to corporate models of leadership, Hoopes goes back to the root of the problem, offering a comprehensive history of corporate culture in America, from the Great Depression to today’s Great Recession. Combining a historian’s careful eye with an insider’s perspective on the business world, this provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves.Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFK’s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture. But he also shows us how it’s not too late to return to our democratic ideals—and that it’s not too late to restore the American dream.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Part I - The Corporate American Dream at Its Height and in Its Origins
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Chapter 1 - The Corporate American Dream
  2. pp. 9-14
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  1. Chapter 2 - Corporate and National Character
  2. pp. 15-21
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  1. Chapter 3 - From Public Purpose to Private Profit
  2. pp. 22-26
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  1. Chapter 4 - Corporations as Enemies of the Free Market
  2. pp. 27-32
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  1. Part II - Corporate Failure and Government Fix
  2. pp. 33-34
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  1. Chapter 5 - Corporate Crashes
  2. pp. 35-39
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  1. Chapter 6 - Managers versus Markets
  2. pp. 40-44
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  1. Chapter 7 - Corporations Blow Their Chance to End the Depression
  2. pp. 45-50
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  1. Chapter 8 - Roosevelt’s Confused Anticorporatism
  2. pp. 51-58
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  1. Part III - The Corporation Strikes Back
  2. pp. 59-60
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  1. Chapter 9 - The Right to Manage
  2. pp. 61-66
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  1. Chapter 10 - Corporations Recover Their Moral Authority
  2. pp. 67-71
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  1. Chapter 11 - Killing the Unions Softly
  2. pp. 72-75
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  1. Chapter 12 - Creating Reagan and His Voters
  2. pp. 76-84
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  1. Part IV - What Manner of Man(ager)?
  2. pp. 85-86
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  1. Chapter 13 - Masking the Arrogance of Power
  2. pp. 87-92
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  1. Chapter 14 - Responsibility versus Profit at General Motors
  2. pp. 93-99
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  1. Chapter 15 - Critics of Managerial Character
  2. pp. 100-105
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  1. Chapter 16 - JFK’s Pyrrhic Victory over U.S. Steel
  2. pp. 106-112
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  1. Part V - The Corporation in the Wilderness Again
  2. pp. 113-114
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  1. Chapter 17 - McNamara and the Staffers
  2. pp. 115-121
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  1. Chapter 18 - The False Confidence of the Anticorporatists
  2. pp. 122-129
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  1. Chapter 19 - Corporate America Loses World Supremacy
  2. pp. 130-136
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  1. Chapter 20 - Laying the Groundwork for the Corporation’s Cultural Comeback
  2. pp. 137-142
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  1. Part VI - Leadership
  2. pp. 143-144
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  1. Chapter 21 - Managing by Values
  2. pp. 145-151
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  1. Chapter 22 - Creating the Concept of Corporate Culture
  2. pp. 152-155
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  1. Chapter 23 - Inventing the Leadership Development Industry
  2. pp. 156-162
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  1. Chapter 24 - Reagan Aids Corporations by Bashing Government
  2. pp. 163-170
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  1. Part VII - Entrepreneurship
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. Chapter 25 - Supply-Siders versus the Big Corporation
  2. pp. 173-179
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  1. Chapter 26 - Reengineering the Corporation
  2. pp. 180-188
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  1. Chapter 27 - George W. Bush, Enron, and the Great Recession
  2. pp. 189-197
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  1. Chapter 28 - Can the Corporate American Dream Be Saved?
  2. pp. 198-208
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 209-218
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 219-234
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 235-236
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