The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. Alain de Botton

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9780141027913: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. Alain de Botton

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton's lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives.Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it?Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves.Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire?The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it.'De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing' Sunday Times'Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject' Spectator'Terribly funny, touches us all' Daily Mail'Brilliant, enormously engaging' Guardian

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Book Description
We spend most of our waking lives at work—in occupations often chosen by our unthinking younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our occupations mean to us.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully evoking what other people wake up to do each day—and night—to make the frenzied contemporary world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around a deliberately eclectic range of occupations, from rocket science to biscuit manufacture, accountancy to art—in search of what make jobs either fulfilling or soul-destroying.

Along the way he tries to answer some of the most urgent questions we can ask about work: Why do we do it? What makes it pleasurable? What is its meaning? And why do we daily exhaust not only ourselves but also the planet? Characteristically lucid, witty and inventive, Alain de Botton’s “song for occupations” is a celebration and exploration of an aspect of life which is all too often ignored and a book that shines a revealing light on the essential meaning of work in our lives.

Alain de Botton on The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

I wrote The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work to shine a spotlight on the working world. I wanted to write a book that would open our eyes to the beauty and occasional horror of the working world—and I did this by looking at 10 different industries, a deliberately eclectic range from accountancy to engineering, from biscuit manufacture to logistics.

The strangest thing about the world of work is the widespread expectation that our work should make us happy. For thousands of years, work was viewed as something to be done with as rapidly as possible and escaped in the imagination through alcohol or religion. Aristotle was the first of many philosophers to state that no one could be both free and obliged to earn a living. A more optimistic assessment of work had to wait until the eighteenth century and men like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin, who for the first time argued that one's working life could be at the centre of any desire for happiness. It was during this century that our modern ideas about work were formed—at the very same time as our modern ideas about love and marriage took shape.

In the pre-modern age, it was assumed that no one could try to be in love and married: marriage was something one did for purely commercial reasons. Things were going well if you maintained a tepid friendship with your spouse. Meanwhile, love was something you did with your mistress, with pleasure untied to the responsibilities of child-rearing. Yet the new philosophers of love argued that one might actually aim to marry the person one was in love with rather than just have an affair. To this unusual idea was added the even more peculiar notion that one might work both for money and to realise one's dreams, an idea that replaced the previous assumption that the day job took care of the rent and anything more ambitious had to happen in one's spare time.

We are the heirs of these two very ambitious beliefs: that you can be in love and married, and in a job and having a good time. It has become as impossible for us to think that you could be out of work and happy as it had once seemed impossible for Aristotle to think that you could be employed and human. Thus is born The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. —Alain de Botton

(Photo © Roderick Field)

About the Author:

Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, A Week at the Airport, Religion for Atheists, The News: A User's Manual, and latest novel The Course of Love, among many others. Alain is a bestselling author in 30 countries. He lives in London, where he runs The School of Life and Living Architecture.

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Descripción Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton s lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. De Botton s wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing Sunday Times Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject Spectator Terribly funny, touches us all Daily Mail Brilliant, enormously engaging Guardian. Nº de ref. de la librería APG9780141027913

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Descripción Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton s lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives.Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it?Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves.Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire?The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. De Botton s wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing Sunday Times Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject Spectator Terribly funny, touches us all Daily Mail Brilliant, enormously engaging Guardian. Nº de ref. de la librería APG9780141027913

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Descripción Penguin Books, 2010. Estado de conservación: New. 2010. Paperback. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? What should I do with my life? What will I have achieved when I retire? This book explains why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: HPX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 20. Weight in Grams: 362. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780141027913

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Descripción Penguin Books. Estado de conservación: New. 2010. Paperback. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? What should I do with my life? What will I have achieved when I retire? This book explains why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: HPX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 20. Weight in Grams: 362. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780141027913

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Descripción Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton's lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. "De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing." (Sunday Times). "Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject." (Spectator). "Terribly funny, touches us all." (Daily Mail). "Brilliant, enormously engaging." (Guardian). Nº de ref. de la librería B9780141027913

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