Hardy Green is a former Associate Editor at BusinessWeek. From 1995-2009, he was the steward of the magazine’s respected and influential book review section. He also has written frequently about the book publishing industry, and contributed features on travel, investing, business history, technology, and careers.
He is the author of two books, including the forthcoming The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy (Basic Books, fall 2010).
He has also taught history at New York’s School of Visual Arts and Stony Brook University, from which he holds a PhD in United States History. He holds a B.A. degree from Rhodes College in Memphis.
In 1913, Sigmund Freud wrote about "the strange behavior of patients in being able to combine a conscious knowing with not knowing" -- and went on to dramatically demonstrate the behavior personally, since he was diagnosed with cancer yet continued a habit of incessant cigar smoking. Beginning in the 1920s, Freud got regular reminders that he was risking death: He underwent more than 30 surgical operations to have precancerous growths removed from his nasal and oral cavities.
This Verleugnung, as Freud called it, or "denial," is also common in the business world, says Harvard Business School historian Richard S. Tedlow. The behavior pattern was there when Henry Ford refused to acknowledge the signs all around him that car buyers were no longer satisfied with a one-size-fits-all Model T. It was there in the 1960s when Sears refused to take notice of the emergence of such discount retail chains as Target, Wal-Mart -- and Kmart, the company that would absorb the once proud Sears in 2005.