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Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself Paperback – May 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Reprint edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446678791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446678797
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Not all "free agents" are highly paid athletes whose main skills are dunking a basketball or hitting a baseball. In fact, as Pink (contributing editor, Fast Company) reveals, over 25 million Americans are now self-employed, and fewer than one in ten works for a Fortune 500 company. This excellent work synthesizes the seismic shift in attitudes about and patterns of work in the economy from the early 1950s era of William Whyte's The Organization Man to today's independent worker, the free agent. Pink astutely summarizes what this major shift in the definition of employment now means to millions of Americans and explains the various types of free agents (including soloists, temps, and those involved in their own microbusiness). Other chapters cover examples of how self-sufficiency works so well for numerous life situations, while in many cases free-agency employment does not work well at all. This work may not be rooted in empirical research, but Pink's thorough review of the literature and his extensive roadwork interviewing hundreds of independent workers successfully merges psychosocial data with pragmatic reality. This major contribution to better understanding the trend toward independent contract work is highly recommended for all university libraries and larger public libraries. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

With Manpower, Inc., the temporary agency, the nation's largest private employer and one-quarter to one-third of American workers operating as "free agents," this author offers analysis of this "new economy" and advice on how to succeed in it. The Fast Company cover story that Pink, a former Gore chief speechwriter, wrote on the growth of "free agency" produced so much feedback that he traveled across the country with his young family to interview "America's new independent workers" for this book. Pink examines facts and figures, explores the roots of increasing free agency, and considers the new work ethic, employment contract, and time clock it generates. He outlines the structure of free-agent work and major disruptions (especially for involuntary free agents) and offers some predictions about how this new paradigm will affect institutional arrangements, including education, "e-tirement," real estate, finance, and politics. Pink understands how busy free agents are; each chapter closes with "The Box," which punchily summarizes the chapter's key points. Mary Carroll
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Daniel H. Pink is the author of five provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into 34 languages and have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.

Pink's latest book, To Sell is Human, is a #1 New York Times business bestseller, a #1 Wall Street Journal Business bestseller, and a #1 Washington Post nonfiction bestseller.

In 2013, Thinkers 50 named him one of the top 15 business thinkers in the world. He serves on the board of directors and advisory boards of several non-profits and startup companies.

A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, Pink lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

Customer Reviews

Reading this book was irritating!
Roger E. Herman
Whether or not you think you want to become a free agent, I suggest that you read this book.
Donald Mitchell
Free Agent Nation is an interesting read.
Susan E. Brittain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Kling on April 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Free Agent Nation exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with. This is not just a drawn-out version of Pink's classic cover story in Fast Company. It reflects extensive research and provides many surprising insights and interesting predictions.
This is not a book you can polish off in an hour or two. It is difficult to convey in a brief review the depth and richness of Free Agent Nation.
Pink demonstrates that free agents are a large and growing share of the work force. He describes some of the economic forces contributing to this phenomenon, but he finds that free agents themselves explain their reasons for leaving the corporate world in psychological terms: a desire for freedom, authenticity, accountability, and flexible concepts of success.
Pink shows that free agents have their own unique perspectives and solutions to such challenges as security, workplace relationships, career advancement, and work-family balance. For example, he describes the way that peer networks are providing the type of career support that formerly came from within large corporations.
Whether you like it or not, the gravitational forces between individuals and large corporations are weakening. In the future, how will business be re-organized? How will the economy function? Daniel Pink asks the big questions, and he comes up with a lot of fascinating answers. I expect Free Agent Nation to become the most talked-about nonfiction book of the year.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Roger E. Herman on October 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book was irritating! I've developed a habit of turning down the corners of pages when something on that page is particularly interesting to me. I discovered that I was turning down practically every page of Free Agent Nation! Daniel Pink has accomplished what most readers of non-fiction books desire: he's put solid value on almost every page. Your thoughts will be constantly stimulated as you move through this book.
Our lives have changed substantially since William Whyte wrote The Organization Man in 1956. The work environment experienced by today's generation-and tomorrow's-is radically different. Instead of being captives of the organizational mode, income-earners are now free agents, including some 30 million freelancers, temps, and microbusiness owners. The lifestyles and philosophies of this growing group will impact the labor pool, retirement, education, real estate, and politics. Daniel Pink's name will go down in literary history for Free Agent Nation because he has so effectively covered the underlying philosophy of a generation.
Free Agent Nation, an engaging, smooth read, is organized into five parts. The first part introduces us to what Free Agent Nation is all about. Chapter 2 gets right into "Numbers and Nuances" to give the reader a deep understanding. Chapter 3 explains how free agency happened.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Bob Whitehead on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
And I never thought I would say that about any book other than the Bible. But Pink's book has become my professional Bible. I wasn't one of those wise ones who sat down, thought it all out, weighed all the plusses and minuses, and made a decision. Nope, not me. That makes way too much sense! After being left stranded high and dry after the Technology industry downturn last year, and scrambling to make it; little by little, one job here, one job there, I finally realized I was making it, and pretty well, but without the traditional J-O-B. Then I ran across Dan's book, and found myself!! It is overflowing with advice, insights, perspective, tips, you-name-it for those who love freedom and controlling their own life more than a corner office with a rubber tree plant!
If you want to understand the current revolution in the workplace, read this book.
If you think you might be interested in being a Free Agent, study this book!
If you're trying to make it as a Free Agent, DEVOUR this book.
Thanks for all your hard work, Dan! I can never thank you enough!!!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By David Garfinkel on May 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Engage your imagination.
Think of the individuals who provide the standard information we depend on -- those working for the mega-corporations that control TV, magazines and newspapers; the professors at universities and the consultants at large firms; and the public information officers working for the government -- as people whose very view of the world is supported, both economically and contextually, by the many concentric rings of a tree (their employer). These rings show the tree is many decades old, and planted firmly in the ground.
One who is attached to such a solid, massive, rooted tree would hardly notice the slender, fresh young shoots popping out from the ground far below, even if those shoots are numerous in the tens of millions. Individually, they're just too tiny.
Dan Pink's book is about the growing power, influence and population of those fresh young shoots. Even to acknowledge the validity of his premise shakes the big trees in a frightening way, down to their core foundations.
I know whereof I speak. Until 1985, I was a tiny tendril of a branch of one of the great old trees. It was in 1985 I left my post as McGraw-Hill's World News San Francisco Bureau Chief. I know how to "wear the hat" of old-tree warrior-reporter.
For 16 years I have been a free agent (I didn't know to call myself that until I read Pink's cover story in Fast Company). It was always curious to me that wearing my corporate newsman's hat, I could never see me writing about someone such as myself in my current incarnation -- solely because, as a free agent, I didn't have the institutional affilation (that is, I wasn't part of an old tree) which was needed to be seen by the media as credible.
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