Daily Archives: Aug 25, 2018 at 08:00 am EDT

Book Bits | 25 August 2018

Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary
By Louis Hyman
Q&A with author via Slate
In his new book Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, Louis Hyman looks at the reasons behind the temporary nature of so much of the American economy. Eschewing the thesis that companies like Uber are primarily responsible for people working jobs without proper benefits and protections, Hyman examines the changes in American corporate life after the 1950s and 1960s, and why the much-mythologized postwar years were less rosy than we think. At the same time, he explains that the postwar era did offer protections for workers that have lately become much sparser and posits that the challenge going forward is to ensure that Americans keep the flexibility they now seem to want, while simultaneously not being exploited by the companies they work for.
Is this even possible? I recently spoke by phone with Hyman, who is an associate professor of history at the ILR School at Cornell University, to ask.
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