Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America

Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America

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Author/Contributor(s): Lutz, Tom
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date: 05/15/2007
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW

Couch potatoes, goof-offs, freeloaders, good-for-nothings, loafers, and loungers: ever since the Industrial Revolution, when the work ethic as we know it was formed, there has been a chorus of slackers ridiculing and lampooning the pretensions of hardworking respectability. Whenever the world of labor changes in significant ways, the pulpits, politicians, and pedagogues ring with exhortations of the value of work, and the slackers answer with a strenuous call of their own: "To do nothing," as Oscar Wilde said, "is the most difficult thing in the world."

Moving with verve and wit through a series of case studies that illuminate the changing place of leisure in the American republic, Doing Nothing revises the way we understand slackers and work itself.