Willing Slaves by Madeleine Bunting

Do you know anyone who is exhausted by work and permanently under stress? Perhaps that person takes a smartphone and tablet to a wi-fi hotspot on the beach whilst on holiday? Work, seemingly, has become an end in itself and we all worship at the altar of Efficiency, praise be upon its name. All our thoughts have to be ‘target-driven’, and we are crushed under the ghastly ‘new managerialism’. By the time pension day arrives, the hapless victim of the overwork culture looks back and wonders where the best years of their life have gone.

Madeleine Bunting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Bunting) had no trouble at all in convincing me that millions of workers have indeed been hoodwinked in a kind of second wave of exploitation since the Industrial Revolution into serving up their lives for the profits and enrichment of others. Published 2005.

Either before or after reading this excellent book, listen to the Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ episode on the subject of work in the 20th century. Available at the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0054588  With Professor Richard Sennett, visiting professor, London School of Economics and author of The Corrosion of Character – the Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism; Theodore Zeldin, historian and Fellow of St Anthony’s College, Oxford; Melanie Phillips, columnist on The Sunday Times and currently working on a book about The Sex Change State. First broadcast Thursday 26 Nov 1998.

416 pages in Harper Perenniel paperback

ISBN 978-0007163724

Image of Madeleine Bunting

Madeleine Bunting

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