The Story of Work A New History of Humankind Jan Lucassen

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
27 Jul 2021
ISBN:
9780300256796
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
448 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
18 color + 9 b-w ilus. + 3 figs. + 6 maps
Sales territories:
World

We work because we have to, but also because we like it: from hunting-gathering over 700,000 years ago to the present era of zoom meetings, humans have always worked to make the world around them serve their needs.

Jan Lucassen provides an inclusive history of humanity’s busy labor throughout the ages. Spanning China, India, Africa, the Americas, and Europe, Lucassen looks at the ways in which humanity organizes work: in the household, the tribe, the city, and the state. He examines how labor is split between men, women, and children; the watershed moment of the invention of money; the collective action of workers; and at the impact of migration, slavery, and the idea of leisure.

From peasant farmers in the first agrarian societies to the precarious existence of today’s gig workers, this surprising account of both cooperation and subordination at work throws essential light on the opportunities we face today.

Jan Lucassen is an honorary fellow at the Institute of International Social History in Amsterdam where he founded the IISH Research Department. He is the author of numerous books including Globalising Migration History: The Eurasian Experience and Global Labour History.