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About the Author

William McGaughey was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and a suburb, the oldest of four children. He graduated from Cranbrook School in 1958. He entered Yale University, dropped out for two years to study and work in Germany, and then returned to receive a B.A. degree in 1964. He majored in philosophy and English at Yale.

McGaughey moved to Minnesota in 1965 to pursue a career in accounting. He passed the CPA examination in 1971. He worked for a state agency, a public-accounting firm, a construction-equipment manufacturer, a paper-products manufacturer, and a public-transit agency in the course of 25 years.

In late 1993, McGaughey purchased a small apartment building near downtown Minneapolis which had drug problems at the time of purchase. City officials and neighborhood activists blamed him for the problem. In February 1995, two sets of city inspectors condemned his building. It was reopened six months later.

In April 1995, McGaughey joined forces with a group of landlords from south Minneapolis likewise aggrieved by city government. He became the group's chief writer and architect of many of its protest activities. The group has picketed City Hall, a police precinct station, and a Minneapolis City Council meeting, briefly shutting it down. This group of small-time landlords has its own cable-television show and an affiliated newspaper.

Earlier in the decade, McGaughey was involved in activities in opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. A co-founder of Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition, he traveled to Mexico City in June 1991 to be a human-rights observer at a union election at an automobile factory where violence had occurred. His book, A U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement: Do We Just Say No?, published in March 1992, was one of the first available on this subject.

Some of McGaughey's earlier writings supported proposals for shortening work time. His A Shorter Workweek in the 1980s was written in connection with a legislative campaign to reduce work hours led by Rep. John Conyers in 1979. Another book, Nonfinancial Economics: The Case for Shorter Hours of Work, published by Praeger in 1989, was coauthored with former U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy.

While he took history courses in college, McGaughey became interested in world history primarily as a result of reading books by Arnold Toynbee. The present book grew out of a comparison between rhythm and form as philosophical concepts. McGaughey has traveled to China six times and participated in a multicultural singing group with the poet Robert Bly and other men.

In 2002, McGaughey developed a proposal to seek funds from the Gates Foundation for a World History charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota. The proposal was not approved by the grant administrator. He has participated in national conferences of two history organizations and in four conferences of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations.

After a friend withdrew from the race, William McGaughey was a candidate for Mayor of Minneapolis in 2001, finishing in the middle of the pack in the primary election held on September 11, 2001.

He was next a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Independence Party primary in 2002, finishing second of three candidates with 8,480 votes, or 31% of the total. Finally, he was a candidate in Louisiana's Democratic presidential primary in March 2004, finishing fifth among seven candidates with 3,161 votes, or 2% of the total. John Kerry won that contest.

Since participating in these political campaigns, Mc Gaughey has completed work on a book-length manuscript which summarizes Albert Schweitzer's views on the Messianic self-consciousness of Jesus.

He is testing the waters of stand-up comedy in the role of a failed politician. He is also working on a project to bring live theater to the neighborhood where he lives, putting the spotlight on the importance of entertainment to our type of society. He was an extra in the cast of Garrison Keillor's film, a Prairie Home Companion.

William McGaughey married Yang Lianlian (Lian) in Beijing, China, in January 2000. Lian and Bill live in a four-plex just west of downtown Minneapolis. Their daughter Celia is studying biology in college.

External link: More information about William McGaughey, Jr., author of this book

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