📚 An excerpt from The Meritocracy Trap: How America’s Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite, by Daniel Markovits
How domestic workers enable well-off women to prosper
“The more I adjusted to being a mother, the more uncomfortable I was, because I was looking at my nanny and thinking, She’s a mother, too. Who’s taking care of her baby?”
📚 Women’s Work: A Reckoning With Work and Home, by Megan Stack
How to “read” a tomato to see the hidden labor behind food
“With a little training, you can see the ways supply-chain practices are written all across its (artificially ripened) skin.”
📚 Tomatoland, by Barry Estabrook
📽️ Food Chains, directed by Sanjay Rawal
How the modern office shapes American life
“The original cubicle … was intended to increase the power of ordinary workers; in practice it came to do something quite different, or at least that’s how it felt to many people.”
📚 Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, by Nikil Saval
📚 “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” by Herman Melville
📚 A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
The exhausting pursuit of work-life balance
“Some researchers think that rather than beat yourself up … it might be better to simply embrace the imbalance.”
📚 Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, by Brigid Schulte
📚 Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive, by Jessica N. Turner
📚 The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life, by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness
The Reference Desk
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About us: This week’s newsletter is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. She just spent a summer afternoon with Decreation, by Anne Carson.
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