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Virtual Event – David Gray

March 11, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Magic City Books is proud to welcome teaching professor of American studies and history at Oklahoma State University, David Gray for a virtual event in celebration of his book, Work Better, Live Better: Motivation, Labor, and Management Ideology.

Work Better, Live Better provides invaluable insight into how corporate management attempted to refashion the American work ethic in the twentieth century. An ambitious, intelligent, and thoughtful account of work and its ideological management that is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of capitalism.

This free event will be moderated by fellow OSU professor, John Kinder. It will be hosted on the Zoom platform and will stream on Facebook Live. To register in advance for the event on Zoom visit: https://magiccitybooks.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ES289AfdRE2nXkSSRGRZGQ.

After you register you will receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the event on Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 CT.

Work Better, Live Better is available to order through Magic City Books. All books ordered from Magic City Books will be available for pickup or to ship after the event with Dr. Gray on March 11. You can order your copy here: https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/work-better-live-better-motivation-labor-and-management-ideology/460.

About Work Better, Live Better

In the United States, a strong work ethic has long been upheld as a necessity, and tributes to motivation abound–from the motivational posters that line the walls of the workplace to the self-help gurus who draw in millions of viewers online. Americans are repeatedly told they can achieve financial success and personal well-being by adopting a motivated attitude toward work. But where did this obsession come from? And whose interests does it serve?

Work Better, Live Better traces the rise of motivational rhetoric in the workplace across the expanse of two world wars, the Great Depression, and the Cold War. Beginning in the early twentieth century, managers recognized that force and coercion–the traditional tools of workplace discipline–inflamed industrial tensions, so they sought more subtle means of enlisting workers’ cooperation. David Gray demonstrates how this “motivational project” became a highly orchestrated affair as managers and their allies deployed films, posters, and other media, and drew on the ideas of industrial psychologists and advertising specialists to advance their quests for power at the expense of worker and union interests.

DAVID GRAY is teaching professor of American studies and history at Oklahoma State University.


March 11, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Magic City Books
221 E. Archer St.
Tulsa, OK 74103 United States


Magic City Books