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Unfinished Work: The Struggle to Build an Aging American Workforce 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199974450
ISBN-10: 0199974454
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Unfinished Work is a jewel of insightful reporting that illuminates the human heart of the global economy. In a sweeping narrative that takes the reader from a mountain village in Japan to unemployment lines in the U.S., Joseph Coleman shows us the dignity and desperation of older workers, doing their best to survive and lead lives of purpose and meaning in a world that is rushing to leave them behind. It's a beautiful, urgent book that raises crucial questions about our future, both as countries and as individuals." --Thomas French, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives


"The storytelling is engrossing, the character studies wonderfully rich, the information solid, and the writing superb. Coleman has produced an enjoyable, important, highly readable report from our future." --Charles Hanley, Special Correspondent at the Associated Press, winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, and author of The Bridge at No Gun Ri


"Joseph Coleman presents a creative and informative approach to later life work in Unfinished Work. Using international examples, there are engaging representations of challenging employment situations and outcomes. Major theories, policies, and authorities are worked into the text in interesting ways. Profiles of real workers, company practices, and programs are relevant and impactful." --Harvey L. Sterns, Ph.D. Director, Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology, The University of Akron


"A significant and timely contribution to the field. Joseph Coleman demonstrates great skill in guiding the reader through the complexities of the issues, from the need to re-fashion work for ageing societies that devalue age, to how older workers who are at the vanguard of modern employment practices may be treated as anachronisms, to the emergence of innovative public and employer policies against a background of a profound reconfiguration of economies which may limit their effectiveness. Informative and often inspiring, Unfinished Work is recommended as an invaluable resource for scholars, public policymakers and practitioners internationally." --Philip Taylor, Professor of Human Resource Management, Federation University Australia


About the Author


Joseph Coleman has been a journalist for more than two decades, spending most of that time as a foreign correspondent for Associated Press, including 11 years in Japan. He's reported from more than 20 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America, covering stories ranging from the Colombian government's battle with the Medellin drug cartel to the Kobe earthquake, the Asian tsunami, and global warming. A graduate of Vassar College and Columbia University, Coleman is the Roy W. Howard Professor of Practice in the Indiana University Media School.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199974454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199974450
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.9 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
News that America and many other countries face a demographic time bomb is not news. However the problems facing an ever-aging population in the world, already depressed by a global economic crisis and technological change seemingly is less in focus. This book seeks to change this.

What a fascinating read! The author has certainly crammed a lot of great information into a relatively small, well researched, academically sound book. Politicians and leaders of companies should read this and start to engage their brain cells. Older workers are not going to go away in a hurry, structural change is necessary. Yet different approaches taken from around the world might help mitigate the problem, even if they cannot entirely solve it. Standing still and doing nothing is no option in any case.

This book is U.S.-centric although it does draw in experiences from around the world. Yet the problems are not restricted to one country. Some countries have a little more breathing space before their own demographic time bomb explodes; many others are not so fortunate. The author has looked at other countries to see how they are handling their own demographic problems. A mixture of cultures, backed up with portraits of many older workers really brings matters into focus. Improving conditions for older workers is critical for ensuring individual success and prosperity and that, of course, in turn will impact society. Something has to be done!

The book astutely records that older employees and job seekers increasingly feel that their age is being held against them. This is undeniable. A job market that fails to take full advantage of their talents frustrates trained and energetic older workers and, naturally, the younger workforce is also disenfranchised.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some great material, too much non-essential. Worth the read if you are interested in the topic
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An outstanding book on an important topic. Very well written and researched.
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Format: Hardcover
Beautifully written, moving stories about older workers in Japan, Sweden, France and the U.S. that illustrate compellingly the complex cultural and policy issues at hand. Having just left a major multi-national at the age of 50, after a 23 year career, the book was especially thought-provoking: on the one hand, I felt lucky that I was in better shape than many portrayed in the book, but I still felt a twinge of regret, wondering if my former employer was really doing as much as it could worldwide to take advantage of an older workforce. Regardless, I enjoyed the read because Joe is still a wonderful writer, 30 years after first met him in grad school. His style makes this a recommended read for a wide range of audiences, from policy-makers to consultants, to corporations and individuals, whether they're directly affected or simply just interested in this ticking time bomb.
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