From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 17:14:07 EDT
Paulo, The book can be ordered; there are even used copies already available. I hope you track it down as I would be most interested in what you have to say about the problems which Basso raises. If I remember correctly, labor and subcontracting relations in the VW operations in Brazil are an important example of the trends that Basso sees at work. I think fellow OPE-L'er Paul Adler may be interested in this book as Basso presents a criticism of Paul's theorization of Toyota-ism. yours, rb Here's Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=2TXSZS34CH&isbn=1859845657&itm=1 Here's Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1859845657/qid=1056575155/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-4923210-8021628?v=glance&s=books And here's Basso's own website: http://helios.unive.it/~philo/basso.html Modern Times, Ancient Hours: Working Lives in the Twenty-First Century by Pietro Basso, Giacomo Donis (Translator) Product Details * Hardcover: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.00 x 8.34 x 6.38 * Publisher: Verso Books; (June 2003) * ISBN: 1859845657 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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