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Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever

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Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever Cover

ISBN13: 9780471742050
ISBN10: 0471742058
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Why are so many of America's most educated, skilled, and committed workers angrier than ever?

In Love the Work, Hate the Job, author David Kusnet follows workers through four conflicts in the trailblazing city of Seattle. At Boeing, aircraft engineers and technicians conducted the longest and largest strike by professionals in private industry in U.S. history, but their picket signs said they were "On Strike for Boeing." At Microsoft, thousands of workers holding short-term positions founded their own Web site to protest being "perma-temps." Still, they were almost as upset about their problems testing software as they were about their own precarious prospects. At a local hospital, workers complained that patient care was getting short shrift and organized with the nation's fastest-growing union. And at Kaiser Aluminum, during a labor-manage-ment conflict that dragged on for two years, workers allied themselves with environmentalists to fight cutthroat corporate tactics.

Like their counterparts across the country, these workers cared about much more than money. Americans increasingly like the work they do but not the conditions under which they do it. In fact, a growing number of employees believe they care more about the quality of their products and services than the executives they work for. That's why the workplace conflicts of the future will focus on model employees who were forced to become malcontents because they "care enough to get mad."

Coming in the aftermath of the mass protests at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999, these conflicts point out the paradox of globalization. U.S. companies can compete most successfully by improving quality instead of just cutting costs. But penny-pinching practices can prevent their best workers from doing their best work, fueling workplace conflicts and depriving businesses of their single greatest advantage.

With powerful storytelling, revealing detail, and compelling analysis, Love the Work, Hate the Job offers provocative insights into today's workplaces, tomorrow's headlines, and Americans' too-often thwarted aspirations to do their jobs better.

Review:

"Presidential speechwriter and political adviser Kusnet has assembled a plodding and pessimistic analysis of how workers struggled to adjust to an evolving employee/company relationship at the turn of the millennium. According to the author, a marked shift occurred at the turn of the century as workers graduated 'from the blue-collar blues to the white-collar woes.' In the 30 years after WWII, at the height of assembly-line production, many Americans reportedly disliked their jobs, but were content with their wages, benefits and economic security. The end of the 20th century heralded cutthroat competition as American corporations jostled with rivals in global markets, and the social contract between American employers and employees began to fray. In Kusnet's analysis, employees found their work more enjoyable and creatively rewarding yet reported increasing dissatisfaction with growing job insecurity and frustration with how meddlesome bureaucracies impeded their efficiency. Citing four examples of workplace conflicts in 1990s Seattle — Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, Boeing, Microsoft and Kaiser Aluminum — Kusnet answers his titular statement in the first few pages, leaving readers to slog through an uninspired and laborious history. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Americans have increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with their jobs. Kusnethas followed the workers at four companies and tells the stories of dedicatedworkers battling not so much for better pay and benefits as for respect and asay in the future of the business.

Synopsis:

Praise for Love the Work, Hate the Job

"With energy, fine reporting, and a sure grasp of the realities of people's working lives, David Kusnet has written one of the most important studies of how people do their jobs since Daniel Bell's Work and Its Discontents. Kusnet makes a case everyone needs to hear: America's workers, including high-tech professionals, want to do their jobs right and they want to do them well, and what they need is more freedom in the workplace to achieve those ends. May Kusnet's book make us realize that liberation and productivity go hand in hand."

--E.J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics

"David Kusnet's Love the Work, Hate the Job offers keen analysis and political insights into the plight of American workers struggling to have government pay attention to their needs. This is a must-read for anyone who finds the daily grind, well, grinding."

--Donna Brazile, campaign manager, Al Gore for President, 2000

"Ever wonder why Boeing engineers have to strike and Microsoft whiz kids can't get health insurance? Even if you haven't, you'll love this--and it's no job to read it! Don't wait for them to make this a TV series. With lots of great stories, David Kusnet explains why there's trouble in paradise."

--Thomas Geoghegan, author of Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back

"With eloquence, wisdom, and a sure grasp of recent history, David Kusnet has single-handedly revived the once-proud craft of labor journalism. Anyone who wants to understand the discontent in high-tech workplaces today must read this book."

--Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan

and The Populist Persuasion: An American History

Synopsis:

Praise for Love the Work, Hate the Job

"With energy, fine reporting, and a sure grasp of the realities of people's working lives, David Kusnet has written one of the most important studies of how people do their jobs since Daniel Bell's Work and Its Discontents. Kusnet makes a case everyone needs to hear: America's workers, including high-tech professionals, want to do their jobs right and they want to do them well, and what they need is more freedom in the workplace to achieve those ends. May Kusnet's book make us realize that liberation and productivity go hand in hand."

—E.J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics

"David Kusnet's Love the Work, Hate the Job offers keen analysis and political insights into the plight of American workers struggling to have government pay attention to their needs. This is a must-read for anyone who finds the daily grind, well, grinding."

—Donna Brazile, campaign manager, Al Gore for President, 2000

"Ever wonder why Boeing engineers have to strike and Microsoft whiz kids can't get health insurance? Even if you haven't, you'll love this—and it's no job to read it! Don't wait for them to make this a TV series. With lots of great stories, David Kusnet explains why there's trouble in paradise."

—Thomas Geoghegan, author of Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back

"With eloquence, wisdom, and a sure grasp of recent history, David Kusnet has single-handedly revived the once-proud craft of labor journalism. Anyone who wants to understand the discontent in high-tech workplaces today must read this book."

—Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and The Populist Persuasion: An American History

About the Author

David Kusnet served as chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and now advises leading Democrats, labor unions, companies, and advocacy groups. He writes a column for the New Republic online and has written for many major newspapers and magazines.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Battle of Seattle.

1. Henry Kaiser's Orphans.

2. From Blue-Collar Blues to White-Collar Woes.

3. Graveyard Shift.

4. Caring Enough to Get Mad.

5. Cyber Proles.

6. “Aren't We Technology Workers?”

7. “I Know What It's Like to Be Treated Reasonably”.

8. The Love-Hate Workplace.

9. “A Company That Hires Engineers and Other People”.

10. The Max Planck Institute for Cynicism.

11. "On Strike for Boeing".

12. One of Boeing's Best Years Ever.

Afterword: "No One Knows Where".

Acknowledgments.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Karin Chenoweth, January 8, 2010 (view all comments by Karin Chenoweth)
Kusnet has written about an issue that has enormous implications for our economic health and, to some extent, our political health as well--people's relationships with their jobs. He has found highly skilled and educated men and women who care deeply about doing good work and yet who are treated like widgets by their employers. His book illustrates, with interesting examples, that people want to be loyal to the folks they work for but are increasingly pushed away.

This can't be good for us as a country.

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
David_Cohen, April 18, 2008 (view all comments by David_Cohen)
A great title for a great book that identifies an all-too-frequent pattern: People love their work and want to do it right - because doing it right matters to them and all of us. Too often, though, bosses, profit-seekers, and unscrupulous politicians put up hurdle after hurdle. The consequence? Minor things, like the Bush Administration's lack of intelligence before Afghanistan and Iraq, or in failing to act on global climate change. So ... the theme counts, and so does this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780471742050
Subtitle:
Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever
Author:
Kusnet, David
Publisher:
Wiley
Subject:
Job satisfaction
Subject:
Profit
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - General
Subject:
Labor
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Job satisfaction -- Washington (State)
Subject:
Work environment -- Washington (State)
Subject:
Politics-Labor
Subject:
U. S. history
Copyright:
Publication Date:
June 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.28x6.37x1.04 in. 1.11 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Careers » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » General

Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.98 In Stock
Product details 288 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9780471742050 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Presidential speechwriter and political adviser Kusnet has assembled a plodding and pessimistic analysis of how workers struggled to adjust to an evolving employee/company relationship at the turn of the millennium. According to the author, a marked shift occurred at the turn of the century as workers graduated 'from the blue-collar blues to the white-collar woes.' In the 30 years after WWII, at the height of assembly-line production, many Americans reportedly disliked their jobs, but were content with their wages, benefits and economic security. The end of the 20th century heralded cutthroat competition as American corporations jostled with rivals in global markets, and the social contract between American employers and employees began to fray. In Kusnet's analysis, employees found their work more enjoyable and creatively rewarding yet reported increasing dissatisfaction with growing job insecurity and frustration with how meddlesome bureaucracies impeded their efficiency. Citing four examples of workplace conflicts in 1990s Seattle — Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, Boeing, Microsoft and Kaiser Aluminum — Kusnet answers his titular statement in the first few pages, leaving readers to slog through an uninspired and laborious history. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Americans have increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with their jobs. Kusnethas followed the workers at four companies and tells the stories of dedicatedworkers battling not so much for better pay and benefits as for respect and asay in the future of the business.
"Synopsis" by , Praise for Love the Work, Hate the Job

"With energy, fine reporting, and a sure grasp of the realities of people's working lives, David Kusnet has written one of the most important studies of how people do their jobs since Daniel Bell's Work and Its Discontents. Kusnet makes a case everyone needs to hear: America's workers, including high-tech professionals, want to do their jobs right and they want to do them well, and what they need is more freedom in the workplace to achieve those ends. May Kusnet's book make us realize that liberation and productivity go hand in hand."

--E.J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics

"David Kusnet's Love the Work, Hate the Job offers keen analysis and political insights into the plight of American workers struggling to have government pay attention to their needs. This is a must-read for anyone who finds the daily grind, well, grinding."

--Donna Brazile, campaign manager, Al Gore for President, 2000

"Ever wonder why Boeing engineers have to strike and Microsoft whiz kids can't get health insurance? Even if you haven't, you'll love this--and it's no job to read it! Don't wait for them to make this a TV series. With lots of great stories, David Kusnet explains why there's trouble in paradise."

--Thomas Geoghegan, author of Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back

"With eloquence, wisdom, and a sure grasp of recent history, David Kusnet has single-handedly revived the once-proud craft of labor journalism. Anyone who wants to understand the discontent in high-tech workplaces today must read this book."

--Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan

and The Populist Persuasion: An American History

"Synopsis" by , Praise for Love the Work, Hate the Job

"With energy, fine reporting, and a sure grasp of the realities of people's working lives, David Kusnet has written one of the most important studies of how people do their jobs since Daniel Bell's Work and Its Discontents. Kusnet makes a case everyone needs to hear: America's workers, including high-tech professionals, want to do their jobs right and they want to do them well, and what they need is more freedom in the workplace to achieve those ends. May Kusnet's book make us realize that liberation and productivity go hand in hand."

—E.J. Dionne Jr., author of Souled Out and Why Americans Hate Politics

"David Kusnet's Love the Work, Hate the Job offers keen analysis and political insights into the plight of American workers struggling to have government pay attention to their needs. This is a must-read for anyone who finds the daily grind, well, grinding."

—Donna Brazile, campaign manager, Al Gore for President, 2000

"Ever wonder why Boeing engineers have to strike and Microsoft whiz kids can't get health insurance? Even if you haven't, you'll love this—and it's no job to read it! Don't wait for them to make this a TV series. With lots of great stories, David Kusnet explains why there's trouble in paradise."

—Thomas Geoghegan, author of Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back

"With eloquence, wisdom, and a sure grasp of recent history, David Kusnet has single-handedly revived the once-proud craft of labor journalism. Anyone who wants to understand the discontent in high-tech workplaces today must read this book."

—Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan and The Populist Persuasion: An American History

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