Bullshit Jobs

Bullshit Jobs : The Rise of Pointless Work, and What We Can Do About It

3.97 (2,990 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Spectacular and terrifyingly true' Owen Jones
'Explosive' John McDonnell, New Statesman, Books of the Year
'Thought-provoking and funny' The Times

FT BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018, THE TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018, NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 and CITY AM BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018

Be honest: if your job didn't exist, would anybody miss it? Have you ever wondered why not? Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren't necessary. In other words: they are bullshit jobs. This book shows why, and what we can do about it.

In the early twentieth century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks and driving flying cars. Instead, something curious happened. Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin: jobs that don't seem to contribute anything to society. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing anything, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.

This book is for anyone whose heart has sunk at the sight of a whiteboard, who believes 'workshops' should only be for making things, or who just suspects that there might be a better way to run our world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 21mm | 269g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141983477
  • 9780141983479
  • 867

Review Text

Spectacular and terrifyingly true. David Graeber's theory of the broken capitalist workforce is right - work has become an end in itself. A timely book from the most provocative anthropologist and thinker of our time. Owen Jones
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Review quote

A provocative, funny and engaging book... that captures the imagination and deserves our attention * Financial Times * An LSE anthropologist with a track record of countering economic myths through a mix of anecdote, erudition, and political radicalism, Graeber is as good an analyst of the increasingly cowpatted field of modern employment as one could wish. And entertaining and thoroughly depressing read... it is extremely thought-provoking -- Tim Smith-Laing * Telegraph * Anthropology professor and colourful anarchist David Graeber has opened a Pandora's box of the modern era by questioning the relevance of the swollen ranks of middle management and bullshit jobs that have cropped up across a variety of industries. A controversial but thought-provoking endeavour * City AM Book of the Year * Anthropologist David Graeber embarks on a provocative quest to find and explain the existence of countless mindless and pointless roles. He divides them into "flunkies", "goons", "duct-tapers", "box-tickers", and "taskmasters". It is an entertaining, if subjective study of a problem and an examination of potential answers, including a universal basic income. -- Andrew Hill * Financial Times, Business Book of the Year * Here's a gift for a friend working in PR or HR. David Graeber's thesis is that they are working in"bullshit jobs". A bullshit job, he says, is one that its holder knows to be pointless or pernicious even though they must pretend otherwise. There are five sorts: flunkies (commissionaires, receptionists), goons (lobbyists, lawyers), duct tapers (who sort out problems others have created), box tickers, and taskmasters (management). It's a provocative case ... but you get the feeling he is on to something; there do seem to be a lot of pointless jobs in the modern economy -- Robbie Millen * The Times, Books of the Year * Equally explosive, my anarchist friend, David Graeber, yet again has thrown a hand grenade into the political economy debate with his Bullshit Jobs (Allen Lane), a call to strike out for freedom from meaningless work. -- John McDonnell * New Statesman, Books of the Year * Spectacular and terrifyingly true. David Graeber's theory of the broken capitalist workforce is right - work has become an end in itself. A timely book from the most provocative anthropologist and thinker of our time. -- Owen Jones
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About David Graeber

David Graeber is a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. His many books include The Utopia of Rules, The Democracy Project and the bestselling Debt: The First 5,000 Years. A frequent guest on the BBC, he writes for, among others, the Guardian, Strike!, the Baffler and New Left Review. He lives in London.
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Rating details

2,990 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 35% (1,054)
4 37% (1,100)
3 20% (602)
2 6% (174)
1 2% (60)
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