Monday, August 21, 2006

"Doing Nothing"

Tom Lutz, author of Doing Nothing, submitted to a brief Q & A with Powell's .com.

Among other subjects--including why he might have liked to have been Hitler, Mao, or Stalin--Lutz discussed a project that might become his next book:
Driven, which is in part the flip side of Doing Nothing, is a study of the way automobile culture manages to transform our basic relation to the world, infiltrating our notions of psychology and social life and even such notions as spiritual transport and, as the title suggests, getting ahead. It will include sections on Southeast Asia, the countries along the old Silk Road, and Africa--places where automotive culture is just taking off--as well as examinations of older automotive cultures in the West.
Asked about the last great book he read, he named more than twelve titles.

Click here to read about those books and the rest of the Q & A.

Lutz's Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America was published in May. Celia Wren, a theater critic for the Washington Post, wrote a fine review of the book for the Boston Globe that included some industrious footwork (no slacker, she) to check on Lutz's argument that Benjamin Franklin, America's patron saint of industriousness, was actually something of a slacker himself. Click here for her review.

Click here to read an excerpt from Doing Nothing.

--Marshal Zeringue