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Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance
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Work: Capitalism. Economics. Resistance

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  29 reviews
By itself, this is a book about work, but it's also more than that. It is an outline of an analysis of capitalism: what it is, how it works, how we might dis-mantle it. And the book and the analysis are outgrowths of something more a movement of people determined to fight it.
So this book isn't just an attempt to describe reality but also a tool with which to change it. If...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Crimethinc (first published April 1st 2011)
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Matthew Hunter
A quote on the back of the title page defines the purpose of the book perfectly: "property is theft - steal it back." The book is an economic analysis, critique of capitalism, and a call to action for subverting and replacing the capitalist system.

Some of the analysis is very strong. For example, as a clergy person in the Methodist Church, I was drawn in by the criticism of religion. Here's a sample:

"Vertical alliances can take seemingly innocuous forms such as sports team followings and religio...more
Daniel
Sep 10, 2011 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people just starting to see the cracks in the wall, those who want to smash it down
Work is a lucid and thoughtful analysis of capitalism, work, and economics. Its strengths come from its its readability, its perspective, and, most importantly, its timing.

The authors of Work have a pretty amazing ability to explain the complicated concepts upon which our economy rests in just a couple of pages. The authors have engaged the hundreds of years of study of and resistance to capitalism that the working class and its allies have put forward, and done a great job of packaging that kn...more
Bythedeed
Wow, almost a decade after Crimethinc. swept me off my feet and skyrocketed me into the world of anarchism, they've managed to make something relevant, enjoyable and something I'm not embarrassed to share with friends and acquaintances.

It's also bizarre to read a book that's timely (the resistance section in the back talks about north africa and has pictures from within the last few months) while it's still timely.
Tinea
Can't deny the perfect timing on this book's release. A theory of wealth inequality in capitalism, printed late enough to reference and speculate about the Arab Spring movements and early enough to thrust into the hands of USA Occupiers.

Crimethinc wrote a winner here. The clear, thorough breakdown of the 2008 financial crisis is the best I've read so far.* It's like a really knowledgeable friend taking the time to explain the entire system and process from causes to domino effects to far reachin...more
Haley
This book is a pretty good analysis of work in capitalism. I've never read much about economics, and I feel this was a good introduction. However, it only scratched the surface. It didn't detail a lot of what it described, and like many Crimethinc books, didn't supply references for many claims and figures. For an intro to anarchist analysis of work though, it was pretty decent.
wombat
I'll never forgive Crimethinc for Evasion but this was pretty good. A very clear, accessible explanation of capitalism. I would definitely recommend this for someone who's new to anarchism/anti-capitalism and has a hard time articulating why.
Nathan
"Against Work" would be a more accurate title. An anarchist critique of capitalist power structures calling for active resistance against and subversion of all forms authority and for the abolishment of the private ownership of capital. Radical as this position may seem to some, the bulk of the book is a well-considered and clearly written deconstruction of the founding myths, fundamental dynamics, key institutions and structured roles of a capitalist economy, which is characterized, above all,...more
Kate
Dec 26, 2011 Kate added it
Shelves: 2011
Two things that irritated me about this book:

1) No bibliography. I get that the anonymous authors didn't want to concede authority to the academy, but it still rankled when I wanted to cross-reference something.

2) Illustrations from Shutterstock. There is something profoundly sad about realizing that you once considered using the same vector illustration for a book about twentysomething finances, and here it is exhorting overpaid and underworked employees to rise up and advocate for their righ...more
Nosmo
Despite how much I enjoyed it, for the most part this book isn't really innovative. Instead it serves as a modern restatement of the nature of capitalism and how it has pervaded so many aspects of our lives. The analysis is insightful and low on the romanticisation Crimethinc are prone to (love it as I may). The damning fashion in which the many ranks and roles are tied together is lucid but lacks the usual vitriol that can be alienating for readers who might realise the part they play in this i...more
Shane
Actually a lot better than I would expected.

The criticisms can really come from some of the same things that can be leveled on Crimethinc, though the lifestylism and silly "adventure" stuff has been toned down. Instead, there really is a lack of ways forward and an effort to over-critique, at the point of making things feel futile and often without a way for readers to have a way forward. This is not to mention point blank areas where they have gotten facts wrong(a lot of this comes from their b...more
Dave
Work is an excellent critique of workaday life and capitalism; it's totalizing impact and encroachment into everyday life and social relationships in the early 21st century.
The book details the latest forms of domination exerted by the economy from the cyber attention currency spectacle to global finance markets to gentrification and more. Work touches on the new modes of resistance required to combat capitalism, as well as the urgency for doing so. As well it builds upon historic critiques of...more
Jesse
Totally awesome. Very informative, very useful. And fun to read.
Blake Keno
Good contemporary critique of capitalism; too many images.
Matt
3.5-stars--Review to come
ChaCha Ala Mode
This is another easy read. It is ballsy and points out exactly how the OWS happened. It talks about revolution and overturning the system. This however, is not a great resource is you are looking to references it on a paper. It has no real bibliography the authors are anonymous and there is no real way to reference or to verify facts. I only understand these facts because I have read other books that have adequate references that come to similar conclusions.
Kourtney
Crimethinc's best work to date, in my opinion. And actually worth a serious consideration even among those critical of the brand. "Work" surveys the capitalist landscape and uses its signature poetic style to point out the workings of the system and all of the ways it bludgeons the human spirit. It also carves a path out of this nightmare and entices vulnerable middle-class youth into their secret society - the same thing they've been doing for a couple decades now.
chris
underwhelming —seemed to sum up crimethinc's analysis quite well, but without adding much or reaching new conclusions. reading other books of theirs was revelatory; reading "work" was pleasant. at times the analysis seems disconcertingly shallow or hollow, and at times it dragged. "expect resistance"'s narrative devices made for a much more enjoyable and worthwhile read....more
Leopold Bienkowski-gibbs
clear. critical. and compelling. i highly recommend this book to anyone who does not feel they have a solid grasp of capitalism and the effect it has on, well, basically EVERYTHING. this is book is rad and it will be well read by myself and hopefully people i know--the more the better. if you're socially minded and looking for a good read, check it out!!
Dalice Malice
Epically a CrimethINC book, with its fairly unchecked pertinaciousness... surprisingly I found this book to be extremely accessible, considering that it deals with some complex economical ideas and issues. Also it includes like the best explanation for the 2008 financial crisis that I've ever read.
Artnoose Noose
Hard to believe, but this was the first Crimethinc book I've read. Also, I read 75% of it on a farm and 25% on the roof of a punk house, but that's beside the point.

I'm writing a longer review, so this one will remain brief. In fact, this is all you're going to get from me right now.
Devon
this book has great structure and organization, making it super easy and enjoyable to read...

not much in terms of new ideas, but an awesome introduction to the subject of "work".

should be required reading for 10th graders...

Adrian
Accessible without dumbing things down and dense without being impenetrable. This book functions as a companion piece/roadmap to a large "Capitalist Pyramid Scheme" poster which you can find at their website.
abclaret
Typical anti-capitalist analysis of capitalism, nothing ground-breaking, but doesn't offer much in terms of an alternative. Owes a great debt to proleinfo - who frankly have better politics.
Agent
interesting, basically the book is reasons not to work but i don't think it stated any real philosophy just "work is bad"
Kevin
At its best it reads like an extended essay from Adbusters. Which is great, but the best isn't sustained throughout.
Amanda Avery
There has got to be an Alternative.
Sara
This is a direct and to the point, highly descriptive overview of the economy. Good read.
Hugo Filipe
Lacks inspiration, and depth, but it might be useful to the newcomer
Brendan
worth reading.
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From the official website:
Crimethought is not any ideology or value system or lifestyle, but rather a way of challenging all ideologies and value systems and lifestyles—and, for the advanced agent, a way of making all ideologies, value systems, and lifestyles challenging.
More about CrimethInc....
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