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Temp

How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)
Regular price: $31.95
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Publisher's Summary

Named a "Triumph" of 2018 by New York Times Book Critics

Shortlisted for the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award

The untold history of the surprising origins of the "gig economy" - how deliberate decisions made by consultants and CEOs in the '50s and '60s upended the stability of the workplace and the lives of millions of working men and women in postwar America.

Every working person in the United States asks the same question, how secure is my job? For a generation, roughly from 1945 to 1970, business and government leaders embraced a vision of an American workforce rooted in stability. But over the last 50 years, job security has cratered as the postwar institutions that insulated us from volatility - big unions, big corporations, powerful regulators - have been swept aside by a fervent belief in "the market." Temp tracks the surprising transformation of an ethos which favored long-term investment in work (and workers) to one promoting short-term returns. A series of deliberate decisions preceded the digital revolution and upended the longstanding understanding of what a corporation, or a factory, or a shop, was meant to do.

Temp tells the story of the unmaking of American work through the experiences of those on the inside: consultants and executives, temps and office workers, line workers and migrant laborers. It begins in the '60s, with economists, consultants, business and policy leaders who began to shift the corporation from a provider of goods and services to one whose sole purpose was to maximize profit - an ideology that brought with it the risk-taking entrepreneur and the shareholder revolution and changed the very definition of a corporation.

With Temp, Hyman explains one of the nation's most immediate crises. Uber is not the cause of insecurity and inequality in our country, and neither is the rest of the gig economy. The answer goes deeper than apps, further back than downsizing, and contests the most essential assumptions we have about how our businesses should work.

©2018 Louis Hyman (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Illuminating and often surprising...a book that encourages us to imagine a future that is inclusive and humane rather than sentimentalize a past that never truly was." (The New York Times)

"In this persuasive and richly detailed history, Hyman traces a decades-long campaign to eliminate salaried positions and replace them with contract work.” (The Nation)

“A fascinating journey through changing nature of work." (Forbes)

“Hyman looks at the reasons behind the temporary nature of so much of the American economy…[He] 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.“ (Slate)   

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not bad make some leaps

overall his research was pretty good good facts early statement of this beginnings of our labor movement in the United States and abroad. Then moved on post-war Union still pretty good information pretty good fact gave us some good information. Overall some points were made very very clearly very well about the digital, economy and the Outsourcing to contractors and how that came about too early Manpower and Consultants. And then near the last chapter they made some I guess crazy leepson theory about this and that and a bunch of tripe that part you should probably ignore near the end and skip it skip to the end and then that's where you should leave the book.

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Dead right

This historical look at labor reminds us of the fundamental problems with capitalism. Those that do the work grow tired and old. While those at the economic top continue to enrich themselves. The old tale of working hard to get ahead or the American dream of financial independence is no longer for everyone. The American dream is temporary.