A compelling investigation into the phenomenon of dirty work – labour that society considers essential, but morally compromised.
A New Statesman Book of the Year
‘This book will prompt a public reckoning with inequality in work’ Michael J. Sandel
‘A scathing and thoughtful book about labor and principles’ Rebecca Solnit
‘A writer in the tradition of George Orwell and Martha Gellhorn’ Corey Robin
‘Confronts a series of deep and vexing moral questions… Penetrating, astutely observed, beautifully written’ Patrick Radden Keefe
Guards who patrol the wards of America’s most violent and abusive prisons. Undocumented immigrants who man the ‘kill floors’ of industrial slaughterhouses. Roustabouts who drill for oil on offshore rigs. And drone operators who kill people from thousands of miles away.
These are the essential workers we prefer not to think about. Their morally dubious, often physically violent and dangerous activity sustains modern society yet is concealed from our gaze. It is work that falls disproportionately in deprived areas, on immigrants and people of colour, and entails a less familiar set of occupational hazards – stigma, shame and moral injury.
Eyal Press reveals fundamental truths about the morality of work and the hidden costs of inequality. Striking, sophisticated and nuanced, Dirty Work will change the way you think about society.