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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
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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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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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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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wonderful

I quit my job and I've never felt better about it. this book is shockingly relevant to so many aspects of work

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Reality bites

The narrator is good. Author's argument is on point and is realistically speaking. But it becomes boring at the few chapter towards the end reason why it took longer for me to finish this book.

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Amazing

As a former business and finance major I was given a lot of preconceived notions about the way our economy has to work. This book has shifted my thinking and opened my eyes to the futility of our current societal structure. When you pair this book with books like "This Changes Everything" you will understand the need for a living wage not just for our souls, but for our environment as well.

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Don't be fooled by the "pop" look of the cover

This book goes deeper into its subject than the title or cover would lead you to believe. Graeber starts with examples of people who have bullshit jobs, a working definition of a bullshit job, then builds to a larger structural analysis of the societal forces that caused the proliferation of jobs which are economically wasteful but useful from a perspective of the holders of power. He also takes this analysis to a broader view of theories of value, accessibly presenting the labor theory of value and how it's been seen over the years. He concludes with a possible solution, or at least a stopgap to address the problem. Overall, I found the material very well presented and personally cathartic.

The reader's great too. He very much didn't do a bullshit job.

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Important topic for our culture.

Touches on some deep problems with our cultural and psychological assumptions. Opens the door for a much broader discussion.

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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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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.