Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review of "The Case for Working with Your Hands: Or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good"

I mainly enjoyed this - though as with a lot of popular non-fiction books, it's a bit bloated. I enjoyed especially the bits about office work and how awful and degrading it is, both for those who do it and those who have to manage it...rather reminiscent of David Graeber at his best, though not so analytical. His description of working in the abstracting business were unpleasantly familiar.

I could relate to that in a way that I couldn't to the bits about cleaning crankshafts and grinding manifolds, because I have never done such a thing in my life and probably won't ever now. I think his insights on employment and wages/renumeration are pretty good, and I'd urge young people thinking about going to uni to read this and think about what it says.

I didn't so much enjoy the author's thoughts on nationalism, globalisation and so felt to me a bit like he was heading in a Trumpian direction, even though at the time he'd written it the rise of the populist right was still only a dark cloud on a distant horizon.  Some of his cultural preferences seem a bit that way too - was it really necessary to read 'Soldier of Fortune' to rebel against his liberal upbringing?

Time well spent, though.

No comments: