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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling writer David Graeber, a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs”. It went viral. After a million online views in 17 different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer. 

There are millions of people - HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers - whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs. Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. 

Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation.

©2018 David Graeber (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Premise and theory ok....but it just drags on and on. PLUS a cringe-worthy narration.

The original article that Graeber wrote in 2013 was eye-opening and left me wanting for a deeper dive. That’s what I expected this book to be. After 5 years of research and countless testimonials, Bullshit Jobs, achieved nothing more than redundant corroborations to the original article’s premise. By five chapters in, I felt as if I wasn’t learning anything new. Just got more examples of the same. However, still, the theory and examination of a workforce that has been broken by bullshittery is a fun and interesting endeavor in itself. It just didn’t require such a long strung book to back it up.

To boot...this particular narration of the book is what made me first lose interest. The narrator (a male) takes the liberty in employing a quasi-falsetto female voice when a woman’s testimonial is being presented. This is not only distracting, but even worse it leaves me with a cringy second-hand embarrassment I didn’t expect to bare while listening to an academic book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

feeling like an ant under a magnifying lens

this book shines an at times uncomfortable light on the bullshittery that comprises most office work today.

the breakdown of BS work into sub-categories makes it easier to separate what is useful from what is, essentially, fluff designed to pad out a bloated work day. My only wish is for some follow-up with meaningful action one can take to reduce the amount of useless activities, or at least reclaim that time for more personally fulfilling endeavors. While a great conversation starter to talk about the greater issues that society faces, individuals need some kind of action plan to help extricate themselves from the honey trap of a BS job.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The book was great but I didn’t like the reader

The reader changed his voice when reading quotes, which would normally be a good thing because it signals to the listener when the quotes begin and end, but he didn’t change his tone, he literally changed his voice. He made his voice higher than his own when quoting women, and strangely, lower than his own when quoting men. The result is that quotes from women were read in a childish voice and sounded simpering, while quotes from men sounded authoritative. The voices were annoying, but the gender bias they introduce is pernicious, and this should not have gone unnoticed by whomever makes the decisions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Easy read, deeply socially/politically insightful

Debt, Graeber's last book I read, was very dry, but also very revolutionary if you're interested in the intersection of history and economics at all. This one is less historical and less comprehensive, but amazingly accessible and tackles its subject matter flawlessly.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Rinse and repeat storytelling

Its a great consept and truly a worthy statement. The method of telling just becomes repetative and in part biased. Raises a question worth pondering.

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Too long

Could be condensed to under 100 pages. The numerous anecdotal stories get tiring, and the hair splitting distinctions formalistic and metaphysical. Good and cautionary tale.

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A+ book!<br />

I have been struggling with some of the things this book talked about. I really enjoyed how the author was in able to incorporate research into the book. This is a must-read for anybody who was interested in work life in America or in Europe.

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  • H. NELSON
  • Albuquerque, NM United States
  • 08-28-18

Very important work

The assumptions of our civilization must become a subject of regular discussion. This book is an important contribution. More discussion about the problem of sociopathy is needed. More discussion about the central question of the role of the commons is needed. Very well spoken book.

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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit padded in the middle, but very interesting

A bit padded with an excessive qty of examples of bullshit jobs. but nonetheless very interesting. made me think and ponder the utility of my own line of work.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Powerful ideas

This book is filled with very well thought out ideas, however in some cases the author relies too much on testimonies or personal anecdotes to back up his beliefs. The concepts proposed here are relatively new in so it is understandable that not much evidence has been gathered up to now in order to back them up.

I am sure this book will change that, as it helps us look critically at the structure of our society and realize that it has many flaws.