1st Edition

From Alienation to Addiction
Modern American Work in Global Historical Perspective

ISBN 9781594515057
Published September 30, 2008 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Over the past two hundred years, work experiences have changed greatly, causing new issues such as heightened boredom and alienation, but also new levels of obsession with work. This book looks at the modern changes in work, examining global patterns but also special features of the work culture in the United States. For the world, the United States, and also key groups such as women and children, understanding the modern history of work goes a long way toward explaining key issues in the U.S. work culture today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Series Preface Chapter 1: Introduction: Analyzing Work as an Experience Chapter 2: Work in Premodern Societies Chapter 3: Work and the American Tradition Chapter 4: The Impact of Industrialization Chapter 5: Modern Work the American Way Chapter 6: Rearranging Modern Work: The Young, the Old, and the Female Chapter 7: Global Trends in the Past Half Century: The Industrialization of the World Chapter 8: A Workaholic Nation? The Past Half Century Chapter 9: Conclusion: Work Issues in the Present and Future Index About the Author

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“Are Americans workaholics or industrious? Is work fulfilling or does it drive us crazy? When does a ‘right to work’ become a ‘need to work’? It takes a master historian like Peter Stearns to successfully take us across two centuries and three continents for answers. Every student—and a lot of us who are already in the work force and wonder why we don't have us much vacation time as Europeans—needs to read and think about this nuanced and often surprising account of changing work patterns and attitudes.”
—Daniel Walkowitz, New York University, author of Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity

“The book has all the features one anticipates from a work by Peter Stearns—lucid synthesis, acute judgments, and an exceptionally broad coverage of space and time.”
—Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University, author of The Work Ethic in Industrial America, 1850-1920

“With crystalline prose and a touch of wry humor, Stearns dispatches with a monumental task; he is the first to look back on the history of industrial work from its pre-modern beginnings through the lens of present-day concerns with overwork, immigration, technological redundancy, as well as the peculiarities of American workplace complaints.”
—Leon Fink, University of Illinois–Chicago, author of In Search of the Working Class: Essays in American Labor History and Political Culture