Doing Nothing

A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America

Tom Lutz

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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Couch potatoes, goof-offs, freeloaders, good-for-nothings, loafers, and loungers: ever since the Industrial Revolution, when the work ethic as we know it was formed, there has been a chorus of slackers ridiculing and lampooning the pretensions of hardworking respectability. Whenever the world of labor changes in significant ways, the pulpits, politicians, and pedagogues ring with exhortations of the value of work, and the slackers answer with a strenuous call of their own: “To do nothing,” as Oscar Wilde said, “is the most difficult thing in the world.”

Moving with verve and wit through a series of case studies that illuminate the changing place of leisure in the American republic, Doing Nothing revises the way we understand slackers and work itself.

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Reviews

Praise for Doing Nothing

“Highly intelligent, stimulatingly eclectic, and impressively learned.” —Gary Kamiya, Salon

“Enjoyable and interesting . . . As much about the nature of work as it is about trying to avoid it.”—Matthew Price, Los Angeles Times

“Incredibly engaging and offbeat meditation . . . A deliciously wild ride.” —Elaine Margolin, The Denver Post

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About the Author

Tom Lutz

Tom Lutz ’s previous books include Crying: A Natural and Cultural History of Tears; American Nervousness, 1903: An Anecdotal History; and Cosmopolitan Vistas. He lives in Los Angeles and Iowa City.

Tom Lutz

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Available Formats and Book Details

Doing Nothing
A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America
Tom Lutz

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American Book Award Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
May 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865477377
ISBN10: 086547737X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages, Includes a Bibliography and an Index
$25.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2006
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429978064
ISBN10: 1429978066
6 x 9 inches, 384 pages, Includes a Bibliography and an Index
$7.99
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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