Compulsory Reading for PMs and CAs

Courtesy of Penguin Books

Liverpool, buildings, hard times and struggle. These are some of the ingredients that attract me to books, people and media articles.

I have often been accused of misanthropic attitudes so to recommend the antithesis ie philanthropy may shock some readers, but I really don’t want my epitaph to be “Here lies a misanthropic narcissist”.

You do not need to be a card carrying communist union official to get something from Robert Tressell’s 1914 political novel. If you are not one of the aforementioned it may help you understand where they are coming from.

This illustration was commissioned by Penguin for the cover of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen’s spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his men from their political quietism. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is known as a masterpiece of wit and political passion, one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written, but it was Owen’s forbearance rather than his radicalism which moved me. His capacity for suffering is almost masochistic. So I set out to depict him with an emaciated Christ-like aura as he endures the harassment and intimidation of his overseer (left) and employer (right)

I have read this book many times and I notice it is free on Guttenberg as per following link:

I have often suggested to Contract Administrators to read it (and some new age Project Managers). mainly so they can understand how things used to be and maybe having a high-handed attitude with subcontractors is not the way to get the best out of them.


And for those who want to get a feel of classical French literature try Moliere’s classic Le Misanthrope (in English):

Published by

Gerry Keating

Construction Professional

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