All the Livelong Day ePub, PDF Available

All the Livelong Day

All the Livelong Day [PDF]

This book definitely had some serious issues with datedness, despite being an "updated" edition. There is a lot of hippy sociologist lingo being thrown around and a lot of the young people are referred to as "long-hairs." The weirdest thing about reading it though has to be realizing how few Americans are actually directly involved in a production line anymore and how much of the factory work has been outsourced elsewhere by now. In response to this, Garson tries to also talk about the automation of office work and how that effects the workers involved, but it still falls a little flat considering how much technological advancements have rendered a lot of what she describes in that portion obsolete as well.

Also, the current status of the American work force with a dwindling production industry and the serious problems of even the car manufacturer juggernauts undermines some of her political viewpoints on the importance of workers learning to better agitate for decent work conditions. In a global economy, American workers' demands are undercut by the constant bottom line that people in poorer countries will probably be willing to do it for less money and under worse conditions. Which isn't to say that her points about what good working conditions are and a more holistic approach to the value of work don't apply, just that her examinations are limited in a larger, more pragmatic sense of how the economy runs now.

Nevertheless, it was a pretty interesting read at least in a historical sense and it was nice to get some individual accounts of how different people deal with the often monotonous, yet stressful daily grind. My main criticism of the book centers mainly on her own account of her experience as an office worker, which comes off very, very badly. It's at this point in the book your suspicions are confirmed that she is pretty spoiled, bourgeois, and disconnected from the workers she supports. Indeed, she seems like someone who isn't even used to working any real full-time job, much less working in a mechanized office environment.

Anyway, it would be interesting to read a truly updated version, particularly as more and more people seem to work on a freelance or independent contractor basis, instead of being official employees. It would also be interesting to read a thoughtful expose of how service-industry jobs effect the people working in them on an individual level, along the same lines as what she's done with factory workers. It would also be interesting to have more context in terms of where the labor movement is at now, how computers effect things, etc.

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