Summary of Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad?

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Would a Work-Free World Be So Bad? summary
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American society regards work as a means to both financial and mental stability. In fact, Americans traditionally characterize the unemployed as aimless and dissatisfied. But is this notion misguided? Editor and journalist Ilana E. Strauss presents the perks and pitfalls of work and takes readers on a journey through hunter-gatherer communities and preindustrial America. She invites them to consider a life beyond the eight-hour workday. While compelling from a historical and sociological perspective, Strauss’s perspective is primarily theoretical in scope. getAbstract recommends her analysis to anyone seeking greater work-life balance and personal fulfillment beyond the professional realm.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How unemployment traditionally correlates with unhappiness and purposelessness,
  • How attitudes toward a work culture changed with the Industrial Revolution, and
  • What prospective benefits a “work-free” culture offers.

About the Author

Ilana E. Strauss is an assistant editor at From the Grapevine.



Academics, activists and futurists warn that advances in technology will create mass unemployment and inequality. Many view this future through a bleak lens: The very wealthy will thrive, while everyone else sinks into a deep void of purposelessness. One Gallup poll reports that 20% of Americans who have been unemployed for at least one year have experienced depression. Other studies cite a shortage of well-paid jobs as a contributor to rising mortality, mental health issues and addiction. But are all jobs good for people? John Danaher, a lecturer at The National University of Ireland, argues that...

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