Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots

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Penguin, 19 янв. 2021 г. - Всего страниц: 464
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"This book is a tour de force." -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

A revolutionary new history of humankind through the prism of work by leading anthropologist James Suzman


Work defines who we are. It determines our status, and dictates how, where, and with whom we spend most of our time. It mediates our self-worth and molds our values. But are we hard-wired to work as hard as we do? Did our Stone Age ancestors also live to work and work to live? And what might a world where work plays a far less important role look like?

To answer these questions, James Suzman charts a grand history of "work" from the origins of life on Earth to our ever more automated present, challenging some of our deepest assumptions about who we are. Drawing insights from anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, zoology, physics, and economics, he shows that while we have evolved to find joy meaning and purpose in work, for most of human history our ancestors worked far less and thought very differently about work than we do now. He demonstrates how our contemporary culture of work has its roots in the agricultural revolution ten thousand years ago. Our sense of what it is to be human was transformed by the transition from foraging to food production, and, later, our migration to cities. Since then, our relationships with one another and with our environments, and even our sense of the passage of time, have not been the same.

Arguing that we are in the midst of a similarly transformative point in history, Suzman shows how automation might revolutionize our relationship with work and in doing so usher in a more sustainable and equitable future for our world and ourselves.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Пользовательский отзыв  - timoroso - LibraryThing

This is an interesting, if maybe a bit too wide-ranging book on work and its role in our lives. Many of us take work to be essential to human life. Suzman writes that not only did work only really ... Читать весь отзыв

LibraryThing Review

Пользовательский отзыв  - Charon07 - LibraryThing

I started this book during my recent, thankfully brief, period of unemployment earlier this year, for perhaps obvious reasons. I was expecting a sort of sociopolitical examination of our relationship ... Читать весь отзыв

Содержание

The Economic Problem I
1
PART ONE IN THE BEGINNING
15
To Live Is to Work
17
Idle Hands and Busy Beaks
39
Tools and Skills
63
Fires Other Gifts
97
PART TWO THE PROVIDENT ENVIRONMENT
123
s The Original Affluent Society
125
Feasts and Famines
203
Time Is Money
229
The First Machines
253
PART FOUR CREATURES OF THE CITY
277
The Bright Lights
279
The Malady of Infinite Aspiration
299
Is The New Disease
389
Conclusion
409

Ghosts in the Forest
145
PART THREE TOILING IN THE FIELDS
173
Leaping off the Edge
175

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Об авторе (2021)

James Suzman, Ph.D., is an anthropologist specializing in the Khoisan peoples of southern Africa. A recipient of the Smuts Commonwealth Fellowship in African Studies at Cambridge University, he is now the director of Anthropos Ltd., a think tank that applies anthropological methods to solving contemporary social and economic problems. He lives in Cambridge, England.

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