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

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Have you ever considered why people work, and work so much? Many people can (and do), even now, survive on much, much less than what is considered necessary for modern living, and certainly, across the eons of human existence our species has lived on (and with) much less. Hunter-gather and foraging societies typically spent much less time per week – around seventeen hours or so – providing for their basic needs. So why do we work as much as we do? How much is the right amount of time to spend on work? Why do we spend so much energy and effort on things that don’t feed, shelter, or clothe us, and how do we even have the ability to move beyond merely caring for these basic needs? What is work, anyway?

This book offers answers that are often surprising and is unique in drawing together pieces of evidence from archeology, history, biology, anthropology, economics, and more, into one cohesive whole. Although the narrative occasionally veers into an unnecessary, politicized territory, and frequently pronounces judgment on currently unsettled science, the writing is engaging and compelling, resulting in a convincing story that will prompt you to reevaluate your own preconceptions about work.

Reviewed By:

Author James Suzman
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 464 pages
Publisher Penguin Books
Publish Date 18-Jan-2022
ISBN 9780525561774 Buy this Book
Issue April 2022
Category History