From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Fri Jun 06 2003 - 03:33:15 EDT
Dear Riccardo, Ernesto and others: Is Pietro related to Lelio? The book does not seem to have yet been released in the US. rb Modern Times, Ancient Hours: Working Lives in the Twenty-First Century by Pietro Basso, Giacomo Donis (Translator) Product Details * Hardcover: 288 pages * Publisher: Verso Books; (June 2003) * ISBN: 1859845657 * Amazon.com Sales Rank: 2,487,695 Editorial Reviews Book Description It is a commonly expressed view that the sickness of our society is unemployment. Less frequently argued is the fact that we are, at the same time, suffering from overwork. It is even more rare to hear that the two sicknesses, unemployment and overwork, feed off one another and jointly attack the working classes worldwide. In Modern Times, Ancient Hours Pietro Basso argues convincingly that the average working time of wage labourers is more intense, fast-paced, flexible, and longer than at any period in recent history. This is true, he posits, not only in industry and agriculture, but also, and particularly, in the service industry. In this comprehensive survey of all the Western countries, not just the US, he demonstrates that extraordinary work pressure is increasing throughout. The introduction of the thirty-five-hour working week in France notwithstanding, all the signs of a creeping deterioration in the working lives of millions of people are explored: a reduction in the purchasing power of wages, the mass downsizing of corporations, the continual erosion of company and state-ensured benefits, and finally the availability of much cheaper labour from Latin America, Asia, Africa and eastern Europe. The only sensible response is a renewal of the working-class struggle. Modern Times, Ancient Hours forcefully reminds us that the human aspiration to do work that does not break the body or the spirit is universal and deep-rooted. Workers will rise, Basso argues, if they continue to be pushed beyond their limits. About the Author Pietro Basso is Professor of Sociology at the University of Venice.
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