may be suffering from ideological schizophrenia. One one hand, he
is the author of several important books supporting liberal positions
on trade and labor questions. He wrote one of the first anti-NAFTA
books, termed "a valuable study" by Noam Chomsky (The Nation,
3/29/93) With former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Eugene
McCarthy, he coauthored Nonfinancial Economics: The Case for Shorter
Hours of Work, published by Praeger Publishers in 1989. He was
a friend of the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone. On the other hand,
after he returned home from the third prepcom of the 1995 UN Social
Summit in New York City, McGaughey threw himself into activities of
a right-wing landlord organization when Minneapolis city officials
and a neighborhood group accused him of coddling criminals in his
nine-unit apartment building in a poor part of town and tried to run
him out of business. During six years of guerilla warfare against
the city's political culture, this "pariah group" managed to persuade
the public that the police, not landlords, were the community's main
crime fighters. These efforts culiminated in the ouster of the incumbent
liberal mayor and seven of thirteen City Council members in the 2001
city election - all Democrats.
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
McGaughey moved to Minnesota in 1965 to pursue a career in accounting.
He passed the CPA examination in 1971. He has 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 the latter capacity, he developed a method of costing bus service
by route and served on the agency's "transit redesign" task force.
In late 1993, McGaughey purchased a small apartment building near downtown
Minneapolis which had drug problems at the time of purchase. He was
branded a slumlord by neighborhood activists and city officials for
not evicting tenants suspected of drug activity fast enough. In February
1995, two sets of city inspectors condemned his building and issued
an extensive set of work orders whose satisfaction was a condition of
lifting the condemnation. His building reopened in August.
In April 1995, McGaughey joined forces with a group of landlords from
south Minneapolis likewise aggrieved by policies of city government.
He became the group's chief writer and publicist 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 has its own cable-television show and an affiliated
newspaper. Backed by these landlords, McGaughey announced his candidacy
for mayor of Minneapolis in 1997 but withdrew in favor of a better-known
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. It focused on positive alternatives
to free trade.
Some of McGaughey's earlier writings considered proposals for shorter
work hours from an economic perspective. 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. Conyers wrote
a foreword to this book. McGaughey also published shorter works on this
topic and on men's issues.
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 singing group with Robert Bly which has embraced elements
of Moslem, Hindu, Mayan, and West African cultures.
McGaughey has twice run for political office in Minnesota. He 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. In 2002,
he was a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Independence Party primary.
He has written a book about this experience, The
Independence Party and the Future of Third-Party Politics, which
was published in 2003.
William McGaughey married his current wife, Lian,
in Beijing, China in January 2000. Their daughter Celia attends college.