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Diary of a Company Man: Losing A Job, Finding A Life Hardcover – January 10, 2012
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“When I was a teenager, The Strawberry Statement shaped my view of
the world and my place in it. Now James Kunen has done it again, with his
acute, observant, funny and moving story of what's truly important in life.
Diary of a Company Man is timely and timeless—a beautiful piece
of writing and enduring source of inspiration.”
—Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One
From the Inside Flap
who discovers something important and meaningful to do.
The experience of falling victim to America’s recession-ravaged economy (and the people who run it) leads him along a career path far different from anything he had planned. After years of making a living, Kunen finally learns how to make a life. Diary of a Company Man will be a revelation not only to baby boomers but to young people trying to figure out what to do with their lives.
More About the Author
James S. Kunen is the author of popular and critically praised books that grapple with legal and political issues in a personal way. A prize-winning journalist, he is best known for his 1968 memoir, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary--his account of the antiwar student strike at Columbia. It has been translated into four languages and widely used in college history and writing courses. MGM's film version of the book won the Jury Prize at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival.
Graduating from Columbia in 1970, Kunen was sent to Vietnam by True magazine to write a series of articles, which led to his book Standard Operating Procedure: Notes of a Draft-Age American (1971).
After working as a freelance journalist, Kunen earned his juris doctor degree from the New York University School of Law and joined the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where he moved from misdemeanor cases to representing people accused of serious crimes, including murder. He recounted his experiences in 'How Can You Defend Those People?': The Making of a Criminal Lawyer (1983).
Returning to journalism, Kunen worked as an op-ed editor for Newsday, a contributing writer for Time magazine, and a featured writer and senior editor for news at People magazine, where he reported and wrote cover stories on Donald Trump, Tawana Brawley and Abbie Hoffman, among others. His reporting on a tragic school-bus crash led him to write a book, Reckless Disregard: Corporate Greed, Government Indifference, and the Kentucky School Bus Crash (1994.
Kunen left People in 2000 to serve as a director of corporate communications at Time Warner Inc. in New York City, where, among other things, his job was to maintain employee morale during the company's merger with AOL and the rounds of layoffs that followed. In 2008, after being laid off himself, he embarked on a search for meaningful work that led him to his current position teaching English as a Second Language at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, N.Y. He describes the journey from corporate PR man to teacher of immigrants in his new memoir, Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life.
Kunen's Time magazine cover story on the resegregation of America's schools won him a First Place in Features award from the New York Association of Black Journalists and an award for reporting in education from Unity Awards in Media. As a freelance writer, he has written for The Atlantic, Esquire, GQ, Harper's, New York, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Magazine, and other leading publications. He was a columnist for a national magazine, New Times.
Top Customer Reviews
After waiting over 40 years for a worthy successor to his blockbuster, "The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary", Jim has produced another fabulously readable memoir, "Diary of a Company Man: Losing a Job, Finding a Life" that answers the question, "I wonder what ever happened to that guy?"
Jim and I were bookends to the revolution in the 1960's. From being classmates at Andover, Jim went on to drape black bunting over Alma Mater while occupying the Columbia University administration building. I, on the other hand, was in Vietnam finishing my 6th month of combat with the United States Marine Corps. It was April of 1968.
From there, incredibly, we both eventually sold out to corporate America and pursued not dissimilar paths up the ladder - Jim with Time Life/Time Warner/AOL Time Warner/to whatever it's called now. I went into the insurance brokerage business.
Eventually Kunen got fired, having survived (and having had a front row seat for) all of the craziness at Time that ensued. He'd been there 18 years (O.K., really 20 if you read the book...) Eventually I got fired as well after a comparatively paltry 16 years.
I went on to write "Loon: A Marine Story" (Random House 2009), a memoir about my time in the 1960's. Jim was a most helpful and willing guide to me when I began to write. He was the only published author that I knew. He also plays a role in my story (please see "Loon" page 138).
For those of us who watched the Time/Warner saga, and all of the other corporate shenanigans of the past 20 years, unfold from afar, "Diary of a Company Man" provides a cat-bird's seat to the inner workings of a company desperate to adapt while while clinging to its Luce roots.Read more ›
He should make plans to write a sequel in ten years or so. I would like to find out what happens to Muhie, Suad and their children, from Iraq; Adam, the track star from Darfur who wants to be a nurse; Carlos from Argentina, who loves being a painter; Reggi, the high school history teacher from Kosovo; Nicole, the "pint-sized Italian fashionista"; the Kurdish refugee novelist Bayram; Jag, the "anchorman-handsome Korean student who wants to be an anchorman"; Kotomi, the Japanese nurse's aide whose Facebook interests are "Chocolate, Jogging, Social Change"; and the others.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How dpo you regain your footing after you have been thrown off the gravy train.? James Kunen knew that being a corporate communications flack for the head honchos at Time Inc. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Charles Bookman
Awesome. Represents my sentiments. Went in to work and quit right after I read it.Published 15 months ago by Maurice J. Azevedo
I lost my job just as he did only in the non-profit sector. His search for a worthwhile job was very helpful. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Deborah Barnekow
Kunen's funny but biting image of the corporate world he left rings true. I enjoyed watching as he looked for a new path, eventually teaching English as a second language to... Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by J. Derouin
The first portion of this book, detailing life in corporate communications at Time Warner, was hilarious. Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Looking for Wisdom
This was a beautifully written true story about a highly educated man in the top echelons of the corporate world. He was fired due to down-sizing. Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Roberta Schoenbrun
The diary style means that it was easy to pick up and read awhile, then pick up again later. An honest, sometimes humorous and self reflective approach to finding meaning in one's... Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Betsy H. Greenman
As one who spent many years coaching and guiding "career explorers" and job hunters, I picked up Jim Kunen's latest book with great interest, curious to see how his career... Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Ken Lizotte CMC, author of 'The Expert's Edge' (McGraw-Hill)
James Kunen has not only captured the persistent angst of the perpetual identity crisis of children of the 1960's, but also the true essence of the spirit of America -- its renewal... Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by Theodore Kirousis