Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America (2020)

Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America Tom Lutz Doing Nothing A History of Loafers Loungers Slackers and Bums in America From the author of Crying a witty wide ranging cultural history of our attitudes toward work and getting out of it Couch potatoes goof offs freeloaders good for nothings loafers and loungers ev
  • Title: Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America
  • Author: Tom Lutz
  • ISBN: 9780865476509
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Hardcover
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America Tom Lutz From the author of Crying, a witty, wide ranging cultural history of our attitudes toward work and getting out of it Couch potatoes, goof offs, freeloaders, good for nothings, loafers, and loungers ever since the Industrial Revolution, when the work ethic as we know it was formed, there has been a chorus of slackers ridiculing and lampooning the pretensions of hardworkFrom the author of Crying, a witty, wide ranging cultural history of our attitudes toward work and getting out of it Couch potatoes, goof offs, freeloaders, good for nothings, loafers, and loungers ever since the Industrial Revolution, when the work ethic as we know it was formed, there has been a chorus of slackers ridiculing and lampooning the pretensions of hardworking respectability Reviled by many, heroes to others, these layabouts stretch and yawn while the rest of society worries and sweats Whenever the world of labor changes in significant ways, the pulpits, politicians, and pedagogues ring with exhortations of the value of work, and the slackers answer with a strenuous call of their own To do nothing, as Oscar Wilde said, is the most difficult thing in the world From Benjamin Franklin s air baths to Jack Kerouac s dharma bums, Generation X slackers, and beyond, anti work ethic proponents have held a central place in modern culture.Moving with verve and wit through a series of fascinating case studies that illuminate the changing place of leisure in the American republic, Doing Nothing revises the way we understand slackers and work itself.
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America Tom Lutz

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One thought on “Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America

  1. Printable Tire

    Seeing as how I haven t worked in a very, very long time, it seems inevitable that I would find and eventually read this book A true slacker, I ve known about this book for a while, but it took me a little bit of time to actually get around to reading it.Doing Nothing is a pretty good primer to the study of doing nothing or accurately not working, as that is the true subject of the book from the dawning of America to or less the current day The author begins with an enjoyable account of his ow [...]

  2. nks

    Though I no longer remember what caused me to buy Tom Lutz s 2006 book Doing Nothing, it isn t hard to make an educated guess As someone who cultivates a lifestyle that involves as little work in the classic sense company, boss, white office, desk as I find financially possible, it was likely the call of the kindred spirit, the desire to see this sort of lifestyle through somebody else s glasses And yet, the title felt irksome Doing nothing It is not a state to which I aspire Is it even possible [...]

  3. Jeannette

    Boy, this took me a while to get through It wasn t that I hated this book or that I was lazy well, maybe or that I found it boring because i didn t , it just wasn t a book I could gobble up in one sitting It felt like a history lesson which was informative but not something I could jump hoops for What I couldn t really get behind was the writer s own personal back storyere wasn t much there I wanted personal stuff about his own life and the life of his slack ass son who was the one who inspire [...]

  4. Jo

    I was working too hard doing housework when I learned somebody had stolen my laundry load Furious, I made my boyfriend take me out of our apartment and into a bookstore That s where I found Doing Nothing.I ve been unemployed and actively searching for a job for nearly five months now I ve gone through a longer stretch of unemployment due to health concerns Since the idea of work and unemployment has been on my mind a lot lately, I was immediately interested in this book I thoroughly enjoyed read [...]

  5. Larry

    Although somewhat of a laborious read for the first part of the book I found that author Tom Lutz had put together an excellent review of various societal expextations regarding work, and individual responses to the same.Tom Lutz s approach was neither manipulative no leading, but rather a well researched and straight forward presentation of both the shifting and static social perceptions of the value of work.

  6. Lauren Albert

    I totally don t feel like writing this review I mean I already wrote one today for the Underachiever s Manifesto Isn t that enough for one day So I ll just say It s good Read it There I m going to take a nap now.

  7. Andrew

    Seemed like Doing Nothing A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America was a good choice for my hundredth book posting on The question is does having read the last 100 books and posting them categorize me as a loafer or workaholic Is my avid reading habit a sign that I don t know how to relax or I don t have a serious job This book goes beyond that to probe our attitudes toward not working, and by extension, working Is there a national work ethic Is slacking a good or bad thing [...]

  8. Siel Ju

    My sense of my own laziness may simply be the perverse guilt engendered by a work ethic that digs its dominatrix heel into my back and rarely lets me up So my own sense of aimlessness earlier this summer convinced me to pick up Tom Lutz s book and I could totally relate to Tom s description of feeling simultaneously lazy and productive The personal parts of this book about Tom s own life engaged me the most, though this is primarily a historical survey through the times of attitudes about work, [...]

  9. Jerzy

    This caught my eye at the library I skimmed the first chapter and would like to finish it some day I need to finish a few other books first Seems to be a history of slackers in US popular culture and how it interacts in curious ways with the history of the Puritan work ethic.I like the cute intro about how the author is frustrated with his son s way of doing nothing in a sort of post high school gap year The son s alleged plan is to get a low key job while he focuses on playing the bass starting [...]

  10. Jenn "JR"

    I picked up this book in February because it seemed to promise some analysis of alternatives to the standard capitalist work structure and expectations in the Western socioeconomic system To sum the bohemian types who drop out of society often do so to eschew the work to buy things and work gives you meaning model are a reflection of a rebellious underlying current in capitalist society culture that is co opted to be held up for derision and as bad examples to be avoided I didn t have to read t [...]

  11. Nathan

    The amount of material Lutz puts together on such a broad topic is mildly impressive, though he does stretch it a bit by throwing in actual professions that aren t very active but don t really warrant being labeled loafing , such as philosophy I was surprised by the thoughtfulness of this book I sort of expected a snarky lampooning of a generation of slackers Instead, Lutz tracks the sociology of leisure through history, showing us how it evolved from a marker of class to a negative concept of c [...]

  12. Jason

    Fascinating social history of the nonworking outcast in American society Lutz follows this societal archetype from Johnson s Idler character through Thoreau, Melville, the WWI slacker, hobos, the Beats, communards, surfers, and Generation X slackers Mostly he explores America s love hate relationship with the drop out think Chaplin vs welfare mom and the Catch 22 of hating loafers while working hard in order to loaf beach lounge, couch lounge, cocktail lounge This all came about because Lutz got [...]

  13. Ronald Koltnow

    Tom Lutz did a tremendous amount of research for his history of slacking he does not deserve to be in the ranks of the indolent Although billed as a history of loafers, layabouts, and lazybones, the book is actually a study of the philosophy of work The concept of work, and ways of avoiding it, are somewhat recent in origin In the past, if you did not work you did not eat Slacking needs work in order to mean something you cannot be the opposite of something that does not exist In true slacker fa [...]

  14. Karen

    I read this book because I have always felt admittedly lazy I thought 400 years of critique regarding the subject of idleness versus the socially sanctioned work ethic would be cathartic Indeed, it was, but there are no easy answers, except that it is safest to fall between the two extremes Lutz began his research when his son, Cody, took a break and wound up on the couch back at home In a sense, both myself and the author have to constantly re asses our relationship to work, and that formed my [...]

  15. Tara

    This book cracked me up It is a history of loafers, loungers and slackers in US history Lutz takes the reader from the writings of Ben Franklin, our founding loafer, to the money Office Space the slacker cult film Lutz is doing an historical analysis of the work ethic and its other the lazy bum Lutz uses a range of cultural texts and historical characters to make his case The upshot is that the work ethic is what is producing the slacker Lutz quotes at length many writings that extol the virtues [...]

  16. Claire

    I read this while thoroughly enjoying my vacation in Italy This fact may have added an additional rosy hue to the aura of this book.One of the things that surprised me was that for a book about doing nothing, it had a lot to say about the nature of work Lutz s basic, compelling premise is that self defined slackers are often workaholics, and self defined workaholics have periods of slackerdom Both definitions require the other, within society and often within individuals Lutz struggles with the [...]

  17. Cheree

    Doing Nothing by Tom Lutz is essentially the history of the slacker From Benjamin Franklin and Thoreau to communes, beatniks, the punk movement and George W Bush I found this history to be quite interesting While I expected to see references to Office Space and Ferris Bueller s Day Off, I was surprised by the amount of references to authors, music and movies that I had not considered before It turns out that our culture is heavily defined by slackers.Complete review at chereemoore 2010

  18. Izzy

    If you resent having to devote all your time to your job, and you feel like a whiny brat because of it, the introduction to this book will soothe your worry by putting your complaints into context If you are like me, however, you will become so soothed that you will immediately lose interest I m giving it 3 stars because I really enjoyed the first 40 pages, but the sad truth is that I was too lazy to read any .

  19. Katherine Rowland

    It took me a while to read this, as it gave me plenty to think about Lutz springboards from his son s indolence to a study of societal impressions of work and play throughout history He doesn t draw a lot of major conclusions, opting instead to report how each generation has handled the question of how much to work and how much to rest The book is packed with information and deeply thought provoking on a personal and societal level.

  20. Brian

    Perhaps not strictly a history of American slackers, but a truly comprehensive history nonetheless Alas, the book only made me want to loaf around and slack off than usual It really was interesting though, examining real life and literary slackers throughout the years and delving into whether some claimed slackers really were such Fascinating.

  21. Jessie B.

    A fascinating look at the history of the slacker and their ilk from the 1800 s to the present I very much enjoyed this book and learned some interesting things about various subcultures and counter culture movements.

  22. Mike Barretta

    This book was so in line with my view of lifeI often saw thoughts and ideas I had, but not elucidated, appear in the beautiful prose of some famous loafer.I fully subscribe to the idea of otium and after reading of those that do too, am happy to be in such good company.

  23. Reese Forbes

    Slackers are the creative people don t be a corporate worker bee, drop out and become creative.This was a very scholarly book, references to other books and movies that I have seen in any onother 320 pages of text that reads much like a novel.

  24. k8beeZ

    This is kinda cool, read it if you feel you re feeling like a slacker and like to get a history on that feeling.

  25. Craig

    Fun and engaging overview of slackers, famous and infamous, and their respective ideologies, philosophies, quirks, ups, and downs.

  26. Jason

    The history of notable slackers throughout history A call to arms for anyone unsatisfied with the Protestant Work Ethic,

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