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Bullshit Jobs cover art

Bullshit Jobs

By: David Graeber
Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber, read by Christopher Ragland. 

Be honest: if your job didn't exist, would anybody miss it? Have you ever wondered why not? Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren't necessary. In other words: they are bullshit jobs. This audiobook shows why, and what we can do about it.

In the early 20th century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working 15-hour weeks and driving flying cars. Instead, something curious happened. Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin: jobs that don't seem to contribute anything to society. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing anything, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.

This audiobook is for anyone whose heart has sunk at the sight of a whiteboard, who believes 'workshops' should only be for making things, or who just suspects that there might be a better way to run our world.

©2018 David Graeber (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Spectacular and terrifyingly true." (Owen Jones) 

"Explosive." (John McDonnell, New Statesman, Books of the Year) 

"Thought-provoking and funny." (The Times)

What listeners say about Bullshit Jobs

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Brilliant

As always, Graeber cuts through the paradigm, exposing the game we are made to play.

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A bit exaggerated, but compelling in several ways

For my taste the author jumps too quickly to the conclusion about how much bullshit jobs there are. Nonetheless, it describes very well my experience with my internal motivation for job, and correctly, I think, points to problems with unnecessary, soul-destroying bureaucracy.
I found it very insightful, the discussion of the need to account in economic theory for human natural desire to help each other, driving down the financial compensation for many essential jobs, and connecting that to UBI.

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Great insight into the modern workplace

Really interesting. Well researched insight into why so many jobs are meaningless these days. I understand now why programs where people are engaged in productive work are so popular, because so many aren't

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Entertaining, Insightful, and a damn good read

Really amazing. Delves into so many different fields. While still managing to remain grounded in the human experience.

First few chapters can be a little slow at times. While Graeber lays down the framework of bullshit jobs. But overall the whole book is really riveting. The last few chapters especially are mind blowing.

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Much more than the title suggests

While this book is fairly slow in some of the early chapters, the final act expands its commentary and scope far beyond just the idea of a "bullshit" job. It takes on grand philosophical ideas around work and the organisation of labour and capital in our societies. Overall, an enjoyable listen.

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  • Hj
  • 15-07-19

Excellent listen, but can't sort by chapter

Well-written and reasoned argument, but the audiobook isn't divided into chapters, and that's real bull***t!

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8 people found this helpful

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Incredible ideas and fascinating insights.

This is a must read for everyone. Packed with historical perspectives and brilliant observations that will challenge you and everything you have ever believed about work.

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wow what an eye opener!

great content, sadly it made me realize I do bullshit all day long too. Finally it makes sense why when I take 6 months off work every few years I feel so good! it's b cause what I do matters to nobody, and it pays way into 6 digits, this is exactly what this book is about. why so many people feel useless and we have such an unjust society

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interesting

interesting read. got really political by the end. the best part was the different types of bullshit jobs

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The working man is a happy man, but not always

It is often said that the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. And it is the last three words of this sagely advice that many people crave for. This book, apparently, started as an essay on the meaningless of many types of jobs that people do in the 21st century and was then expanded into a full blown book. At first I thought this might be stretching things a tad, especially when the first few chapters were effectively riffing on the same basic theme of examples of people who consider that the way they earn their living is not worthwhile or something they can be proud of.

Futurologists of the past predicted that by now most work would be mechanised and we would all be replaced by robots leaving humans to bask in a life of luxury and leisure. They were only partly right. it is correct that many manual tasks are conducted by machines but this has lead to a growth in the "service sector" and paradoxically we all now work longer and harder at jobs that have little social benefit. It is this theme that author David Graeber explores later in the book which evolves from a tirade of the meaningless of most forms of paid employment to a more broad ranging assessment of society and the way the workplace meets our wants and needs. Interesting stuff and well structured arguments.

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