Saturday, November 24, 2012

Five best books on work and working

Aman Sethi was born in Bombay in 1983 and attended the Columbia School of Journalism. He is a correspondent for The Hindu and the recipient of an International Committee of the Red Cross award for his reportage.

His new book is A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi.

Sethi named five notable books on work and working for the Wall Street Journal, including:
by Ben Hamper (1991)

Ben Hamper's great-grandfather built motorized buggies, his paternal grandfather worked 32 years at Buick, his maternal grandfather worked 40 at Chevrolet. Uncle Jack was working at Buick, as was Uncle Clarence. When Hamper flunked out of school he tried everything, from painting houses to cleaning toilets, to stave off the moment when he walked into the GM plant where his father once fitted windshields. "Rivethead" pulls you along like a Suburban chassis on an assembly line, from 1977, when a booming auto industry couldn't make enough trucks for an America rebounding from the Arab oil shocks, right up to 1988, when plants across the country were shuttering in the face of Japanese competition. Hamper draws the reader close as he skirmishes with cokehead foremen, binges with fellow shoprats, and fires rivets into trucks late into the night, nine hours a day, six days a week, year after year. Yet the most harrowing part of the book isn't the clamor of the assembly line but the quiet, grinding drudgery of layoffs, hangovers and the endless wait for the clock to run down.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue