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New Book Releases – Week of 16 August 2021 – Rita Dove, more…

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to each of the new book releases …)



Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America

Eyal Press

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A groundbreaking, urgent report from the front lines of “dirty work”―the work that society considers essential but morally compromised

Drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations. Undocumented immigrants who man the “kill floors” of industrial slaughterhouses. Guards who patrol the wards of the United States’ most violent and abusive prisons. In Dirty Work, Eyal Press offers a paradigm-shifting view of the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling jobs. As Press shows, we are increasingly shielded and distanced from an array of morally questionable activities that other, less privileged people perform in our name.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn unprecedented attention to essential workers, and to the health and safety risks to which workers in prisons and slaughterhouses are exposed. But Dirty Work examines a less familiar set of occupational hazards: psychological and emotional hardships such as stigma, shame, PTSD, and moral injury. These burdens fall disproportionately on low-income workers, undocumented immigrants, women, and people of color.

Illuminating the moving, sometimes harrowing stories of the people doing society’s dirty work, and incisively examining the structures of power and complicity that shape their lives, Press reveals fundamental truths about the moral dimensions of work and the hidden costs of inequality in America.

*** LISTEN to an interview with the author

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