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Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone Hardcover – January 26, 2021

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Illuminating and inspiring…Work Won’t Love You Back is ultimately an optimistic book. Jaffe is clear-eyed about all the ways employers exploit workers’ goodwill, but because she has spent so much time reporting on labor actions across the world, she has also seen how workers use love to their advantage in organizing.”―The New Republic

“An extremely timely analysis of how we arrived at these brutal inequalities and of some of the ways in which a deliberately atomised workforce is beginning to organise to challenge them.”―The Guardian

“The book is also both structurally ambitious, combining essays on very specific industries such as domestic work, teaching, retail, nonprofits, art, academic, tech, sports, and of particular note, interns as it is a narrative feat…The most lucid moments in Jaffe’s writing come in the form of her blunt redefinitions of commonplace ideas. There are several of these brilliant sentences throughout the pages: ‘The labor of love, of short, is a con’; ‘Charity is a relationship of power’; and ‘programming, a field currently dominated by young men, was invented by a woman,’ to name a few.”―The Progressive

“Jaffe and the workers she interviews help us make sense of the messy tangle of emotions so many of us feel about our professional lives; when the lines are blurred between work and play, as Jaffe so astutely explains and historicizes for us, they are simply the messy tangle of emotions about our lives, full stop. The final chapter of Work Won’t Love You Back is at once a brilliant contribution to the growing canon of anti-work political theory and a moving ode to human connection.”―The Baffler

“The prose is crisp and compulsively readable… a deeply engaging work.”

“An important, timely reminder of the meaning of work.”―Los Angeles Review of Books

“By pulling apart the myth that work is love, Jaffe shows us that we can reimagine futures built on care, rather than exploitation.”―Naomi Klein, author of On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal

"Jaffe’s committed, on-the-ground engagement, historical range, and ferocious gathering of revolutionary thought combines to create something genuine and profound. . . . This book is a gift to its reader, and to a possible future."―Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox

“Marvelously lucid, thoroughly readable, and wonderfully engaging.”―Kathi Weeks, author of The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries

“Sarah Jaffe’s years as a labor reporter have let her see frontlines where others have failed to look. A book of rare importance.”―Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

About the Author

Sarah Jaffe is a Type Media Center Fellow and an independent journalist covering the politics of power, from the workplace to the streets. She is the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Nation, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New Republic, the American Prospect, and many other publications. She is the cohost, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine's Belabored podcast, as well as a columnist at The Progressive and New Labor Forum.

Product details

  • Publisher : Bold Type Books (January 26, 2021)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1568589395
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1568589398
  • Item Weight : 1.41 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.38 x 9.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
37 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2021
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Emily Book
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2021
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9 people found this helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the life narratives in the book, 1 star for the simplistic anti-capitalist stance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2021
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4 people found this helpful
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