As the Twitter bio of author and independent journalist Sarah Jaffe proudly shows, she was a work journalist before it was cool. Jaffe has been reporting on workers' struggles and the nature of work for over a decade and is one of the leading voices and figures of the working class (and a massive inspiration to you). Her first book, Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt, in 2016, looked at the practice and politics of dissent. With her latest work for Bold Type Books, Work Will't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobss Keeps us Exploited, Exhaused and Alone, she has focused her brand-typical laser focus on the problem of work - who does what, what value is placed on the result and the impetus behind the work. (Spoiler: It always depends on capitalism.)
Curved, passionate and sometimes heartbreaking, Won't Love You Back shows Jeff breaking bread with artists, trainees, home workers, video game designers, scientists, and more who have seen their work systematically devalued, fired, and ignored. due to the nature of what they produce and factors beyond their control, such as gender, race and identity. Jaffe explores the myth of the “labor of love” familiar to starving artists of the past and today's content creators, and reminds us that none of this is immutable; change is always possible. As Jaffe writes, despite the strict theoretical relationship between labor and capital, in practice this relationship status is often ... complex. “In the end, work is us,” she says. "Messy, passionate, hungry, lonely, angry, frustrated people." Jeff took a few minutes out of his busy writing, organizing and writing about the organization to share some thoughts on his new book with us.