cover of book
 

Men Without Work: Post-Pandemic Edition (2022)
by Nicholas Eberstadt
Templeton Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-59947-598-1 | Paper: 978-1-59947-597-4

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Nicholas Eberstadt’s landmark 2016 study, Men Without Work, cast a spotlight on the collapse of work for men in modern America. Rosy reports of low unemployment rates and “full or near full employment” conditions, he contends, were overlooking a quiet, continuing crisis: Depression-era work rates for American men of “prime working age” (25–54).
   The grim truth: over six million prime-age men were neither working nor looking for work. Conventional unemployment measures ignored these labor force dropouts, but their ranks had been rising relentlessly for half a century. Eberstadt’s unflinching analysis was, in the words of The New York Times, “an unsettling portrait not just of male unemployment, but also of lives deeply alienated from civil society.”
   The famed American work ethic was once near universal: men of sound mind and body took pride in contributing to their communities and families. No longer, warned Eberstadt. And now—six years and one catastrophic pandemic later—the problem has not only worsened: it has seemingly been spreading among prime-age women and workers over fifty-five.
   In a brand new introduction, Eberstadt explains how the government’s response to Covid-19 inadvertently exacerbated the flight from work in America. From indiscriminate pandemic shutdowns to almost unconditional “unemployment” benefits, Americans were essentially paid not to work.
   Thus today, despite the vaccine rollouts, inexplicable numbers of working age men and women are sitting on the sidelines while over 11 million jobs go unfilled. Current low rates of unemployment, touted by pundits and politicians, are grievously misleading. The truth is that fewer prime-age American men are looking for readily available work than at any previous juncture in our history. And others may be catching the “Men Without Work” virus too.
   Given the devastating economic impact of the Covid calamity and the unforeseen aftershocks yet to come, this reissue of Eberstadt’s groundbreaking work is timelier than ever.
More to explore: Books and Reading