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Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

Hardback

By (author) Ross Perlin

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  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 211mm x 30mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 9 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844676862
  • ISBN 13: 9781844676866
  • Sales rank: 432,699

Product description

Every year, at least half a million Americans work as interns. They famously shuttle coffee in a thousand newsrooms, congressional offices,and Hollywood studios, but they also deliver aid in Afghanistan, build the human genome, and pick up garbage. They are increasingly of all ages, and their numbers are growing fast-from 17 percent of college graduates in 1992 to 50 percent in 2008. Almost half of all internships are illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and this mass exploitation saves firms more than $600 million each year. Interns enjoy no workplace protections and no standing in courts of law-let alone benefits like healthcare. Here is the first expose of the world of internships, by a brilliant young writer. A graduate of Stanford, SOAS, and Cambridge, Ross Perlin speaks eight languages. He is also a self-confessed serial internshipA" survivor who has held internships on three continents. In this witty, astonishing, and serious investigative work, Perlin takes the reader inside both boutique nonprofits and megacorporations like Disney (which employs 8,000 interns at Disney World alone). He profiles fellow interns, talks to historians about what unleashed this phenomenon, and explains why six states and several European countries are debating legislation meant to rein in the intern boom.

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Author information

Ross Perlin is a graduate of Stanford, SOAS, and Cambridge, and has written for Time magazine, Lapham's Quarterly, Guardian, Daily Mail and Open Democracy. He is researching disappearing languages in China.

Review quote

"Interns built the pyramids," the great magazine The Baffler once declared. And that was just the beginning of their labours, as Ross Perlin demonstrates in this fascination and long overdue expose of the wage labour without wages, the CV-building servitude, at the heart of contemporary capitalism." - Benjamin Kunkel, a founding editor of n+1 and author of the novel Indecision "Cloaked in the innocent idea of the intern, aggressive employers are using young people trying to get a foothold to weaken the leverage of existing workers, especially professionals. Ross Perlin gives us an account of another subterranean strategy to undermine working people." - Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY "Alas, the valuable internship institution is being widely and flagrantly abused, as Ross Perlin demonstrates in this eye-opening book. A huge chunk of the workplace has been distorted in an unhealthy way, and Perlin provides not only the diagnosis but the beginnings of a prescription." - James Ledbetter, editor in charge of Reuters.com, and author of Unwarranted Influence "The world has been waiting for this book. It's lucky that someone as thoughtful and politically aware as Ross Perlin was there to write it." - Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt and DIY U.