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Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy Paperback – July 3, 2012


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Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy + Families in Poverty (Families in the 21st Century, Vol. 1) + Divided by Borders: Mexican Migrants and Their Children
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014312255X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143122555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A book with fascinating range [and] a fresh perspective [that shows] how powerful the genre of oral history can be.” San Francisco Chronicle

“Wrenching . . . Wide-ranging . . . This book is so important.” New York Daily News

“A touching and all-too-necessary text.” Interview

“Comparable in heft and style to Studs Terkel’s Working, Not Working is as timely as its predecessor. . . . [It] provides an in-depth look at a new type of American and reveals a new type of American story. . . . The storytellers in Not Working . . . show that, as a society, we’re more than where we work.” —City Arts (Seattle, WA)

“Add[s] faces, personalities and pathos to the unemployment figures thrown around every month. Just as [Studs] Terkel showed how so many of us define ourselves with our work, Gibson’s subjects demonstrate how, even beyond the financial havoc that ensues, losing a job unsettles a person’s sense of self.”The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)

“Not Working reveals something Americans only talk about in numbers.  Gibson gives . . . the big picture of America’s temperature.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
 

“An intense, moving, ground-level history of our difficult times.” —Teju Cole, author of Open City

“Powerful and heartrending.” —Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker

About the Author

DW Gibson has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, BOMB, and Tin House, and worked on documentaries for MSNBC and A&E®. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This book makes for interesting--if often depressing-- reading.
M. Hubbard
This is a necessary book, one that examines an uncomfortable but all too common state of being, and I suspect its value will only grow in time.
G. Butler
This is a must read for anyone holding public office or hoping for the best with the future of the US.
John Links

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Smith on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you're an out-of-touch politician who needs to know what's really going on in this country and how the economy has affected so many lives and families, you ought to read this book.

If you have distant family and friends who've been laid off, and don't understand what they're going through, you should read this book.

But if you personally have experienced a layoff or more during this recession, I urge you NOT to pick up this book. Because it will depress the hell out of you. The editor lays out a very clear and convincing narrative that the economic woes have affected young and old, corporate citizens and civil service, equally.

The very photos on the cover of people smiling are deceptive - this is a painfully sad collection of stories that offer a grim indictment. The world of work in the U.S. is indeed not working for many, many people.

As a recent multiple layoff myself, I picked this book up primarily for the promised "map for navigating our changing economy." Only, there isn't any good news at the end. Consider yourself warned.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Links on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the book that finallly says something about the economic crisis facing this country. It tells the story of the real humans being effected. Of course there are all the hardships that one might expect with foreclosures and financial stress but this book goes way beyond those circumstances and reveals how unemployment effects our relationships, our communities, and our sense of identity. Gibson aptly gives a clear picture of the hardship stories and the inspiring people trying to overcome them. This is a must read for anyone holding public office or hoping for the best with the future of the US.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By 4moreshelflife on December 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Nice to read a book about those who are unemployed, underemployed, laid-off, fired, aged out and the like. Great talent all with economic concerns. Other than the stories of these individuals, the most important part of this book is proof that the unemployment figure we are given by the government includes those that are filing or getting benefits. The real figure, closer to 17%, are those that work less than part-time, have stopped looking for work, ran out of benefits or are severely underemployed.

The real story of the recession is here. You all know at least someone who is in the group, most likely a dozen or two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Squirrelgirl on April 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bunch of first person interviews about losing their jobs. It was sad and somewhat interesting, but I have a couple of issues. It's loaded with grammatical errors. So many it gets annoying. Also, these people tell their stories, but the author never verifies them or interviews other people involved, with the exception of someone else that got fired. This makes me question the truth of the stories. Overall, it's just ok.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wesmanlv on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard about this book on NPR. I resonated with the topic having been laid off in the past (twice). Reading about others who had similar emotions to mine has been very beneficial. One of the things I like about this book is you don't have to read it from cover to cover but rather you can read a story and later read another story. I have selected stories to read based on the title as I think it might interest me. If you have ever been laid off or let go from a job, you may find this book an enjoyable read.
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