No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea

No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea

by James Livingston

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For centuries we've believed that work was where you learned discipline, initiative, honesty, self-reliance--in a word, character. A job was also, and not incidentally, the source of your income: if you didn't work, you didn't eat, or else you were stealing from someone. If only you worked hard, you could earn your way and maybe even make something of yourself.

In recent decades, through everyday experience, these beliefs have proven spectacularly false. In this book, James Livingston explains how and why Americans still cling to work as a solution rather than a problem--why it is that both liberals and conservatives announce that "full employment" is their goal when job creation is no longer a feasible solution for any problem, moral or economic. The result is a witty, stirring denunciation of the ways we think about why we labor, exhorting us to imagine a new way of finding meaning, character, and sustenance beyond our workaday world--and showing us that we can afford to leave that world behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469630663
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 10/28/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 449 KB

About the Author

James Livingston is professor of history at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. He is the author of five other books on topics ranging from the Federal Reserve System to South Park.

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From the Publisher

Reading No More Work, I get a glimpse of what it must be like to have Jim Livingston as a teacher. Here we are treated to exhilarating leaps of the historical imagination—from the Bible to Daniel Bell—cushioned by a sensibility that is as radical as reality itself. I read this book in one sitting, but, like the best books, it will sit with me long after the sitting is done.—Corey Robin, Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate Center

No More Work is, wonderfully, at once a rude book and a kind one. Livingston is bracingly impolite about the cult of capitalistic productivity, all in the service of the happiness and pleasure that could be ours if we demanded less toil from ourselves and more justice from our society.—Benjamin Kunkel, author of Utopia or Bust

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