How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone

a book by Sarah Jaffe
Event • Chicago

Virtual Book Launch at Pilsen Community Books

Join us as we welcome Sarah Jaffe, Kenzo Shibata and Micah Uetricht for a discussion of Sarah’s new book Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone.
** This event will be streamed via YouTube Live through the Pilsen Community Books YouTube channel. Register for free here for a link to view to be sent to you the day of the event **
You’re told that if you “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Whether it’s working for “exposure” and “experience,” or enduring poor treatment in the name of “being part of the family,” all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love.
In Work Won’t Love You Back, Sarah Jaffe, a preeminent voice on labor, inequality, and social movements, examines this “labor of love” myth — the idea that certain work is not really work, and therefore should be done out of passion instead of pay. Told through the lives and experiences of workers in various industries — from the unpaid intern, to the overworked teacher, to the nonprofit worker and even the professional athlete — Jaffe reveals how all of us have been tricked into buying into a new tyranny of work.
As Jaffe argues, understanding the trap of the labor of love will empower us to work less and demand what our work is worth. And once freed from those binds, we can finally figure out what actually gives us joy, pleasure, and satisfaction.
You can purchase Work Won’t Love You Back and support Pilsen Community Books, Chicago’s only worker owned and operated independent bookstore, here. Thanks for helping make excellent free programming like this possible!
Sarah Jaffe is a Type Media Center Fellow and an independent journalist covering the politics of power, from the workplace to the streets. She is the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, The Guardian, the Washington Post, The New Republic, The American Prospect and many other publications. She is the cohost, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as a columnist at The Progressive and New Labor Forum.
Kenzo Shibata is an educator and socialist labor organizer in Chicago. He’s a founding member of the Caucus of Rank-and-file Educators, a High School Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union, and President of the Illinois Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. He’s host of the Class Time podcast and stream.
Micah Uetricht is the deputy editor of Jacobin magazine. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity, coauthor of Bigger than Bernie: How We Go From the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism, and co-editor of a collection of oral histories with New Left radicals who took jobs in industries like steel and auto with the intention of organizing after the 1960s, out in 2022 from Verso. He hosts the Jacobin Radio podcast The Vast Majority and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.