Joshua Murray, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University, joins Sam to discuss his new book (co-authored with Michael Schwartz), “Wrecked: How the American Automobile Industry Destroyed Its Capacity to Compete.”
At its peak in the 1950s and 1960s, automobile manufacturing was the largest, most profitable industry in the United States and residents of industry hubs like Detroit and Flint, Michigan had some of the highest incomes in the country. Over the last half-century, the industry has declined, and American automakers now struggle to stay profitable. How did the most prosperous industry in the richest country in the world crash and burn? In Wrecked, sociologists Joshua Murray and Michael Schwartz offer an unprecedented historical-sociological analysis of the downfall of the auto industry. Through an in-depth examination of labor relations and the production processes of automakers in the U.S. and Japan both before and after World War II, they demonstrate that the decline of the American manufacturers was the unintended consequence of their attempts to weaken the bargaining power of their unions.