- Hardcover: 548 pages
- Publisher: Periodicals Service Co (June 1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0527221015
- ISBN-13: 978-0527221010
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,775,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Of Time, Work, and Leisure
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, written in the very early 1960s, is still relevant today for the questions it asks, which are very neglected but of utmost importance, viz., is the "good life" solely constituted of work? This question is analyzed from a 1960s perspective so it is, sadly, fairly dated in that respect (though it is interesting in its analysis of how people spent leisure time four decades ago). The book is also a little plodding, and the argument is presented in a very disjointed and sometimes overly statistical fashion. I had to literally struggle through some of the later chapters. Nonetheless, the issues are still very relevant, and the questions De Grazia asks are still worth asking today (in fact, they may be more pressing today than they were in the 1960s).
The book does include a good historical survey of how the world has looked at leisure since the time of Aristotle. This is how the book begins, and it is completely engrossing for the first few chapters. De Grazia discusses the sticky issues surrounding leisure and slavery in a society, and outlines a history of how we have been gradually progressing "toward the work society."
This could easily have been a book in itself. Unfortunately, the book begins to drag later on. It gets bogged down in details and hard to follow arguments that contrast strongly with the book's beginning. There is, nonetheless, plenty to sink one's teeth into as the book's pace slows (the pace never stops, and it never becomes outright boring, it just doesn't maintain its momentum).
You will not get answers to any difficult questions in this book. What you will get is insight into the issues raised. In short, it is a rewarding but arduous read.