I wasn’t a baseball fan in 1957. I was alive, but had no idea that two New York baseball teams were moving west. The New York baseball Giants went to San Francisco, and the Brooklyn Dodgers went to Los Angeles.
So, sixty years later, a best-seller captivates the way that the Dodgers’ move transformed the city of Los Angeles. The book is by Jerald Podair, entitled City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles (Princeton Press, 2017).
Despite having been released in early April, the book is still in the top 25 in two Amazon.com sub-categories, neither of which have anything to do with sports! Rather, the categories are urban development, and city planning. Perhaps that alone will tell you the impact of the move on the region.
Here is a review of the book by Publishers Weekly, from March 3, 2017: “When Walter O’Malley dragged the Dodgers out of Brooklyn in 1957, he unwittingly triggered a battle over the future of Los Angeles. Lawrence University historian Podair recreates a protracted conflict that saw the suburbs face off against an unlikely alliance of unions and big corporations including oil, and the L.A. Times. Frustrated by the Machiavellian New York urban planner Robert Moses, O’Malley, like so many before him, headed west to a city that had deliriously morphed from orange groves to a tract-house megalopolis. Eager to shed their provincial status—and inflate the value of their real-estate—L.A. power brokers offered O’Malley a stadium site in Chavez Ravine, where a Mexican-American community had been devastated by a failed plan for public housing. The new stadium was a fait accompli until “the Folks” (mostly white middle-class homeowners) ignited a multi-year conflict that ranged from the courts to the voting booth and resonated across the country. Podair frames the Dodger Stadium struggle as a collision between two very different visions for L.A.: one an endless suburb of low taxes and minimal government, and the other more centralized and hierarchical, with generous state funding for cultural monuments that, not coincidentally, would make the rich even richer. Careful research and straightforward prose make this an excellent introduction, though unimaginative repetition of theses smacks of a high-school textbook. The semi-heroic portrayal of the team owner borders on partisan, but Podair does have a point: O’Malley sweated for his vision.”
And, here is a comment from John Buntin, in the Wall Street Journal: “By 1956, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Walter O’Malley, was a frustrated man. The rival New York Yankees, from a 67,000-seat stadium in the Bronx, ruled Major League Baseball. The Boston Braves had just moved to Milwaukee and increased home attendance by 600% — dramatically boosting their revenue and their advantage in the quest for talent. Decrepit Ebbets Field, by contrast, had only 32,000 seats, making it one of the smallest ballparks in the majors. O’Malley knew he needed a new stadium to compete. How “O’Malley came by that new stadium is vividly recounted in Jerald Podair’s City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles. It’s the tale of how the fight to bring the Dodgers west transformed not only Major League Baseball but Southern California as well, determining what kind of city 20th-century Los Angeles would be. . . . Podair is right to see this as a critical moment in Los Angeles’s history and is a sure-footed guide through the political fight.”
“I am Professor of History and the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I have taught since 1998. I’m a native of New York City and a former practicing attorney. I received my B.A. from New York University, a J.D. from Columbia University Law School, and a Ph.D. in American history from Princeton University. My research interests are in 20th century American urban history and racial and ethnic relations.
I am the author of The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville Crisis, published by Yale University Press, which was a finalist for the Organization of American Historians’ Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for the best book on the struggle for civil rights in the United States, and an honorable mention for the Urban History Association’s Book Award in North American urban history. My biography of the civil rights and labor leader Bayard Rustin, entitled Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer, was published in 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield. My co-edited book, The Struggle for Equality: Essays on Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction, was published in 2011 by the University of Virginia Press. I contributed an essay entitled, “An Awful Choice: Bayard Rustin and New York City’s Civil Rights Wars, 1968,” for that volume. I am also the co-author of American Conversations: From the Centennial to the Millennium, a collection of primary sources in American history after 1877, published by Pearson in 2012. I’m presently writing a book entitled Building Dodger Stadium: Land, Power, and the Fate of Modern Los Angeles for Princeton University Press, in which I use the struggle over the construction of the iconic ballpark between 1957 and 1962 to examine arguments over civic identity in an emerging 20th century American supercity.
My articles and reviews have appeared in The American Historical Review, The Journal of American History, The Journal of Urban History, Reviews in American History, Radical History Review, Labor History, Film & History, and American Studies. I contributed an essay, “’One City, One Standard’: The Struggle for Equality in Rudolph Giuliani’s New York,” to Civil Rights in New York City: From World War II to the Giuliani Era, published by Fordham University Press in 2011.
At Lawrence University, I teach courses on a variety of topics in nineteenth and twentieth-century American history, including the Civil War and Reconstruction; Abraham Lincoln; the Great Depression and New Deal; the 1960s; the JFK assassination; and the Civil Rights Movement. I also teach Lawrence’s first course in American Studies, which I introduced in 2007. Since 2004 I have taught Lawrence’s Senior Experience research seminar for history majors, “The Practice of History.”
I am the recipient of the Allan Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians for “literary distinction in the writing of history,” and a Fellow of the New York Academy of History. I was appointed to Wisconsin’s Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, on which I served from 2008 to 2009. In 2010, I was honored by Lawrence University with its Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and in 2012 with its Faculty Convocation Award. In 2013 I co-edited Learning for a Lifetime: Liberal Arts and the Life of the Mind at Lawrence University, a volume of essays by Lawrence alumni on the impact of liberal education on their professional, intellectual, and personal development.”
I don’t see much chance of us presenting this at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Its scope is beyond what we focus upon. But, we have many blog visitors who are both sports fans and urban enthusiasts who will like this book.
At the May First Friday Book Synopsis, I will present a synopsis of James Kouzes and Barry Posner‘s newest best-seller, Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2016).
Kouzes (left, below) and Posner (right, below) ve become some of the most powerful and influential writers about the subject of leadership, all published by Jossey-Bass from San Francisco. You are aware that The Leadership Challenge (6th edition to be released on May 1) remains one of the best-sellers of all time, and is in its 25th anniversary commemoration. We have presented synopsis of several of their books, including Encouraging the Heart (2003).
I won’t spoil the story for you, because I want you to attend the synopsis, and hear what is between the lines for each of the five fundamentals.
But, here they are:
1. Believe you can.
2. Aspire to excellence.
3. Challenge yourself.
4. Engage support.
5. Practice deliberately.
The authors treat the fundamentals separately, but recognize the strong interdependence among them.
And, please note that they are not talking about just any leader – this book is about becoming an exemplary one!
Kim Scott‘s new book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017) entered the Wall Street Journal business best-seller list at # 7 in the list published today (April 1-2, p. C10).
The book is # 1 on two Amazon.com sub-categories, and has also appeared on the prestigious New York Times best-seller list. As you are aware, we rely heavily on that list as the source for our selections to present at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.
Here is how the book is described on Amazon.com:
“Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging it’s ruinous empathy. When you do neither it’s manipulative insincerity.
“This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you’re all proud of.
“Radical Candor offers a guide to those bewildered or exhausted by management, written for bosses and those who manage bosses. Taken from years of the author’s experience, and distilled clearly giving actionable lessons to the reader; it shows managers how to be successful while retaining their humanity, finding meaning in their job, and creating an environment where people both love their work and their colleagues.”
You may not be familiar with Kim Scott. She was an executive at Google and then at Apple. Kim is also the co-founder and CEO of Candor, Inc., which builds tools to make it easier to follow the advice she offers in the book. She is also the author of three novels. Prior to founding Candor, Inc., Kim was a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and several other Silicon Valley companies. She was a member of the faculty at Apple University, developing the course “Managing at Apple,” and before that led AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google. Previously, Kim was the co-founder and CEO of Juice Software, a collaboration start-up, and led business development at two other start-ups, Delta Three and Capital Thinking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy advisor at the FCC, managed a pediatric clinic in Kosovo, started a diamond cutting factory in Moscow, and was an analyst on the Soviet Companies Fund. Kim received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BA from Princeton University. Kim and her husband Andy Scott are parents of twins and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Adapted from her website: http://www.kimmalonescott.com/biography/).
We have determined that we will feature this book for the May, 2017 book synopsis in Dallas. Continue to monitor our website for information.
When Bill Lee and I wrote Organizing Change (San Francisco: Pfeiffer-Jossey Bass, 2003), we did so from a large-scale perspective. Our premise was that it is easier to consider change from a high-level such as a one that affects an entire organization, then, whittle it down to whatever level you want to use, such as a division, department, or unit.
While the magnitude of a change may differ by size, the principles do not. As you read our book, you will find three major concerns that you want to be aware of for any change that you lead or initiate. These are to be:
inclusive – go as deep as possible in the organizational charts of the areas affected by the change; get input from as many people as you can; it is difficult to argue against a change you helped create. Remember what Covey said years ago – “without involvement there is not commitment.” Make the change “our initiative” not “mine.”
systemic – consider how the change will affect all types of stakeholders; consider other departments or units in the organization, internal and external customers, consumers, and so forth.
systematic – organize the change phase by phase; decide who does what when; get it right the first time, and you will not lose productivity while kicking off the change initiative.
When you lead change, you are in the driver’s seat, not the passenger’s seat. You make decisions that craft and create important paths that various stakeholders take to solve a problem, correct a difficulty, or make something that is “good” even better. What is important, however, is to know that you never begin with the change initiative. You always begin with the recognition of a problem, issue, or uncomfortable situation. That principle will remind you of John Kotter’s first step in his change process, which is URGENCY. In fact, he wrote an entire book about that step, which you can purchase a synopsis of from 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
It is amazing how many people I have taught this process to in professional workshops and courses over the last ten years. I remember the first one for Citi so well, as if it were yesterday. Right now, we have two weeks to go in the MBA course “Leading Change” at the University of Dallas College of Business, where I use this book and teach practical implementation of the process. In this course, we don’t talk about change – we make change.
I know it works. We would not have had this many interested people if the process were unsuccessful. Fortunately, I hear back from so many individuals who implement the program in their organizations, that I am inspired to continue to share it with others.
At Creative Communication Network, we offer two paths for change. We do this in workshops, consulting, and coaching for both paths.
Take MANAGING CHANGE
if you want to:
Cope with change you didn’t create
Work in a change-friendly environment
Reduce personal anxiety about change
Produce an environment of freedom
Look for positive changes to implement
Take LEADING CHANGE
if you want to:
Reduce the impact of a problem
Design an organized change initiative
Gain commitment by influencing others involved in the change
Boost the positive impact of change on those affected by it
Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the change
We’re really excited about these programs. We will be going into companies as well as conducting public workshops. Complete information, including agendas, outlines, objectives, pricing, and other details are available by calling (972) 980-0383 or sending an e-Mail to:
Don’t wait! Join the fully satisfied individuals from many organizations who have benefited from these programs.
Here is how to get the book that we use in Leading Change. It is now a print-on-demand book directly from the publisher. After you get it, you can contact me for the templates that are featured within the book. This is the link to use: