David Graeber presents his theory - that an alarming number of jobs in western society (37-40% at least) are made up just to waste time or fill space, for various reasons. Each chapter digs a little deeper into these reasons, from the overcomplexity of western capitalist systems, to a puritanical attitude toward work (and suffering) being humanity's lot. Finally, he puts forward ideas on what can be done about this. This is all presented with Graeber's artistically analytical eye, his fierce political views, and his wry sense of humour.
Bullshit Jobs was Graeber's final book, which is a pity as it feels like it's building up to a crescendo. He observes western society as an anthropologist, unapologetically making sweeping statements, but using interview and survey as means to reinforce his theory. And it is very convincing. Few people who read this book would fail to identify with some of what Graeber writes, and his biting criticism of western politics (left and right) is pitch perfect.
hardcover, 333 pages
Published June 3, 2018 by Allen Lane.