Saturday, September 16, 2006

Working

One of the books I am currently reading is Working, by Studs Terkel. A must-read book which was published in 1974 and is still relevant today. A program on NPR talking about "Working" is here.

Recordings from The Studs Terkel Radio Program are here.

Working, is an oral history of working men and woman. As the title says, "People talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do". Studs Terkel documents a wide spectrum of working people, people whom we see daily, but do not stop to think that they might be working really hard to make ends meet---work that is essential for some purpose. He documents peoples experiences about why they are doing what they are doing, what they like-dislike about it, how the feel about the job, how they are searching for meaning and shelter in their job, why they started the job, how long have they been working, the nature of work itself and many such experiences. A few professions he documents are, farmer, miner, receptionist, professor, actor, model, hooker, telephone solicitor, garbage man, domestic, janitor, policeman, cab-driver, plant manager, dentist, hair-stylist, factory owner, tennis player, gravedigger, librarian and many more. A great account of working peoples lives, their struggles at work and makes one realize how important and non-trivial work is, irrespective of any profession.

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