Company Men: White-collar Life and Corporate Cultures in Los Angeles, 1892-1941

America's white-collar workers form the core of the nation's corporate economy and its expansive middle class, but at the start of the 20th century, white-collar jobs were new and their future was anything but certain. In this work, Clark Davis places the corporate office at the heart of American social and cultural history, examining how the nation's first generation of white-collar men created new understandings of masculinity, race, community and success - all of which would dominate American experience for decades to come. The text focuses on Los Angeles, the nation's corporate frontier of the early 20th century. Davis shows how this Californian city - often considered on the fringe of American society for the very reason that it was new and growing so rapidly - displayed in sharp contours how America's corporate culture developed. The young men who left their rural homes for southern California a century ago not only helped build one of the world's great business centres, they also redefined middle-class values and mores. The book focuses on the company man as a pivotal actor in the saga of modern American history.