The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$18.50
List price: $26.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Burnside American Studies- General

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

by

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

You mean this place we go to five days a week has a history? Cubed reveals the unexplored yet surprising story of the places where most of the world's work—our work—gets done. From "Bartleby the Scrivener" to The Office, from the steno pool to the open-plan cubicle farm, Cubed is a fascinating, often funny, and sometimes disturbing anatomy of the white-collar world and how it came to be the way it is—and what it might become.

In the mid-nineteenth century clerks worked in small, dank spaces called “counting-houses.” These were all-male enclaves, where work was just paperwork. Most Americans considered clerks to be questionable dandies, who didn’t do “real work.” But the joke was on them: as the great historical shifts from agricultural to industrial economies took place, and then from industrial to information economies, the organization of the workplace evolved along with them—and the clerks took over. Offices became rationalized, designed for both greater efficiency in the accomplishments of clerical work and the enhancement of worker productivity. Women entered the office by the millions, and revolutionized the social world from within. Skyscrapers filled with office space came to tower over cities everywhere. Cubed opens our eyes to what is a truly "secret history" of changes so obvious and ubiquitous that we've hardly noticed them. From the wood-paneled executive suite to the advent of the cubicles where 60% of Americans now work (and 93% of them dislike it) to a not-too-distant future where we might work anywhere at any time (and perhaps all the time), Cubed excavates from popular books, movies, comic strips (Dilbert!), and a vast amount of management literature and business history, the reasons why our workplaces are the way they are—and how they might be better.

Review:

"Journalist Saval (an editor at n+1) offers a detailed social and cultural history of the white-collar workplace. He narrates the evolution of the office in the first decades of the 20th century and tells how 'administration and bureaucracy over the world of business.' Along came the typewriter, vertical file cabinet, managers, and efficiency experts to organize this new class of workers. The most influential and ultimately terrifying of these is Frederick 'Speedy' Taylor, the father of the time and motion study, who was responsible for 'vast caverns of bull pens and steno pools' and 'eventually workers the impression that their work was routine and dead-end.' Saval spends considerable time on the successes and failures of an office's architecture and design: Frank Lloyd Wright's radically organized Larkin Building in Buffalo in 1904 somehow leads us to Clive Wilkinson's Disneyland-like paradise for TBWA/Chiat/Day in 1997. Saval's readings of pop culture representations of the office and its workers add a lively and ironic perspective. We may have come to the point, Saval suggests, when the office may be disappearing. Self-identified as a 'work of synthesis,' the book draws heavily on the credited work of others, so one wonders about the 'Secret' of the title. Never mind. The result is an entertaining read. Agent: Edward Orloff, McCormick & Williams." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Nikil Saval graduated from Columbia in 2004 and went straight into the publishing industry as an editorial assistant. Around that time he started researching the origins of the office, which led to his n+1 article "The Birth of the Office." He is now an editor of n+1 and also writes for Slate, The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Oxford American, The LA Times, The Huffington Post, and The New Statesman.

About the Author

US

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385536578
Author:
Saval, Nikil
Publisher:
Doubleday Books
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
History
Publication Date:
20140431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
39
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.59 x 6.44 x 1.29 in 1.52 lb

Other books you might like

  1. McSweeney's Issue 46 New Hardcover $26.00

Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385536578 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Journalist Saval (an editor at n+1) offers a detailed social and cultural history of the white-collar workplace. He narrates the evolution of the office in the first decades of the 20th century and tells how 'administration and bureaucracy over the world of business.' Along came the typewriter, vertical file cabinet, managers, and efficiency experts to organize this new class of workers. The most influential and ultimately terrifying of these is Frederick 'Speedy' Taylor, the father of the time and motion study, who was responsible for 'vast caverns of bull pens and steno pools' and 'eventually workers the impression that their work was routine and dead-end.' Saval spends considerable time on the successes and failures of an office's architecture and design: Frank Lloyd Wright's radically organized Larkin Building in Buffalo in 1904 somehow leads us to Clive Wilkinson's Disneyland-like paradise for TBWA/Chiat/Day in 1997. Saval's readings of pop culture representations of the office and its workers add a lively and ironic perspective. We may have come to the point, Saval suggests, when the office may be disappearing. Self-identified as a 'work of synthesis,' the book draws heavily on the credited work of others, so one wonders about the 'Secret' of the title. Never mind. The result is an entertaining read. Agent: Edward Orloff, McCormick & Williams." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Nikil Saval graduated from Columbia in 2004 and went straight into the publishing industry as an editorial assistant. Around that time he started researching the origins of the office, which led to his n+1 article "The Birth of the Office." He is now an editor of n+1 and also writes for Slate, The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Oxford American, The LA Times, The Huffington Post, and The New Statesman.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.