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Whiting Williams, lecturer and wrier on labor and management problems, will give a lecture tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock in Peabody Hall of Phillips Brooks House. Delivering the eighth lecture in a series of the Course of Religion, Williams will address both students and the public on "Why Men Work".
For the last three years Mr. Williams has led an interesting life in investigating current labor and employment problems. As vice-president of a steel company, he arranged with the board of directors to get a leave of six months. Taking only $25 in his pocket he started off to get a job in order to actually catch the point of view of the unemployed laborer. In his study he found so many interesting situations that he has extended the period.
Williams impersonates workmen not only in this country, but in England, Scotland, and Wales. He has also passed as a common laborer in the lower districts of Germany. He believes that the gentleman scholar of the operations of economic laws falls to get many important factors visible only to those who feel the effects of the law. He has posed as a dock hand, a builder, and a miner. Recently he investigated Soviet Russia, but as an author, because of the danger of detection in case of a poor impersonation.
He is also a facile imitator of the speech and dialect of any class of people. Mixing with the workers, his disguise has never been questioned. As an account of his first year's work he wrote "What's On the Worker's Mind", which gave a new insight into the life of the industrial laborer. Every year he gives the Business School an account of his varied experiences. His topic this year was "How the Unemployed Feel".
Out of a wide experience from hoping bread lines, soup kitchens, and rooming in lodging houses, Mr. Williams will explain the impulse to work.
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