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Work by James Suzman
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Work by James Suzman
Paperback $18.00
Jan 18, 2022 | ISBN 9780525561774

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    Jan 18, 2022 | ISBN 9780525561774

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  • Jan 19, 2021 | ISBN 9780593289136

    827 Minutes

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“Magisterial.” The Nation

“His book meticulously charts the evolution of labour over 300,000 years, a strategy that brings welcome perspective to our current economic woes. While ostensibly a science book, it is also a devastating critique of consumer capitalism and a kind of self-help guide, underlying just how abnormal our lives are by our ancestors’ standards.” The Irish Times

“A fascinating exploration that challenges our basic assumptions on what work means. As automation threatens to completely disrupt the global job market, it is urgent to rethink the economic, psychological and even spiritual importance of work. By examining the lives of hunter-gatherers, apes and even birds, Suzman highlights that what we consider ‘natural’ is often just the questionable legacy of industrial gurus and agricultural religions. Knowing the history of how we have spent our time in the past will hopefully enable us to make more sensible choices in the future.” —Yuval Noah Harari, New York Times bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“Here is one of those few books that will turn your customary ways of thinking upside down. An incisive and original new history that invites us to rethink our relationship with work—and to reimagine what it means to be human in an ever-more automated future.” —Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

“Deeply researched, broad in scope and filled with insight, this is a modern classic. Every page brings something worth thinking hard about.” —Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author of This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

“Ingenious . . . All living organisms expend energy (i.e., work), but humans have transformed this with spectacular creativity that began with stone tools and led to cities, nations, and networks of energy-hungry machines. Anthropologists specialize in describing this process, and Suzman delivers a delightful account of their findings without ignoring the occasions when colleagues missed the boat . . . A fascinating history of humankind as a consumer of energy.” Kirkus (starred review)

“For too long, our notions of work have been dominated by economists obsessed with scarcity and productivity. As an anthropologist, James Suzman is here to change that. He reveals that for much of human history, hunter-gatherers worked far less than we do today and led lives of abundance and leisure. I’ve been studying work for two decades, and I can’t remember the last time I learned so much about it in one sitting. This book is a tour de force.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
“Automation of all kinds looms on the horizon. Luckily, James Suzman is here with a revelatory new history that makes a persuasive case: That human industry can light a path forward, even in a future where we’re put out of work by our own inventions.” —Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better

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