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Hillyer Alum’s Book Gets National Exposure
The book, Notes From Toyota-Land: An American Engineer in Japan, was the subject of reviews in both The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
The book is based on a diary that Mehri kept during his three years at an upper-level Toyota Motor Group company in Japan. Mehri’s inside perspective on daily work life in Japan portrays what he describes as a surprisingly unhealthy work environment, a high rate of injuries due to inadequate training, fast line speeds, crowded factories, racism, and lack of team support.
“Much of Notes From Toyota-Land documents the ways in which workers lose their souls – if not their lives – in the demanding, demeaning atmosphere of corporate Japan,” Henny Sender of The Wall Street Journal wrote in the newspaper’s Jan. 3 review.
“One of the reasons that Notes From Toyota-Land is so moving,” Sender wrote, “is precisely because Mr. Mehri has as much sympathy for his Japanese colleagues as for his foreign ones.”
Both the Journal and The Christian Science Monitor praised Mehri’s book, although the Monitor took issue with him for failing to provide comparisons with Western firms for additional perspective.
“Still, despite its flaws, Notes From Toyota-Land is an attention-grabbing look at the dark side of a company that many experts predict will soon be the world’s number one automaker,” reviewer Matt Rusling wrote in the Monitor.
Mehri officially launched his book and gave a lecture at the University of Hartford in October 2005, and at the time he was presented with an Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Hillyer College.