Students in field

Campus Read event scheduled for Wednesday

September 15, 2017

Finlandia University’s annual Campus Read programming is back for the 2017-18 academic year, and will begin Wednesday, September 20 at 7 p.m. with author Dr. James Livingston. The entire community is invited to the event, which should feature a provocative and stimulating discussion based on his recent book, No More Work.

No More Work

No More Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea, challenges the long-held imperative for reaching full employment levels. Amazon.com summarizes the book’s theme as such:

For centuries, we’ve believed that work was where you learned discipline, initiative, honesty, self-reliance–in a word, character. A job was also, and not incidentally, the source of your income: if you didn’t work, you didn’t eat, or else you were stealing from someone. If only you worked hard, you could earn your way and maybe even make something of yourself.

In recent decades, through everyday experience, these beliefs have proven spectacularly false. In this book, James Livingston explains how and why Americans still cling to work as a solution rather than a problem–why it is that both liberals and conservatives announce that “full employment” is their goal when job creation is no longer a feasible solution for any problem, moral or economic. The result is a witty, stirring denunciation of the ways we think about why we labor, exhorting us to imagine a new way of finding meaning, character, and sustenance beyond our workaday world–and showing us that we can afford to leave that world behind.

About Dr. James Livingston

James LivingstonDr. James Livingston is a Professor of History at Rutgers University. Dr. Livingston started out as an economic historian writing about banking reform in the Progressive Era. His first book, which is still in print thanks to numerous financial crises, was Origins of the Federal Reserve System: Money, Class, and Corporate Capitalism, 1890-1913 (Cornell U Press, 1986). He is also the author of Pragmatism and the Political Economy of Cultural Revolution, 1850-1940 (UNC Press, 1994), The World Turned Inside Out: American Thought and Culture at the End of the 20th Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), and Against Thrift: Why Consumer Culture is Good for the Economy, the Environment, and Your Soul (Basic Books, 2011). He has also written numerous pieces on fiscal politics, Keynes, Freud, Shakespeare, corporate liberalism, diplomatic history, and Disney (pretty much in that order), with additional scholarly publications appearing in Chicago History, The American Historical Review, Psycho-History Review, and Social Text and numerous Op-Ed pieces in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Campus Read at Finlandia University

Every year there’s an enchanted experience on the campus of Finlandia University as students, faculty, staff and the community come together with the focus on literature. A book is chosen. Dialogues happen. Minds open. This year’s book, which is chosen by the Campus Read Committee, is No More Work by Dr. James Livingston. Learn more about Campus Read at finlandia.edu/campusread.

This opening Campus Read event is free and open to the public. Come join the Finlandia Community on Wednesday, September 20, at 7 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center for a provocative and stimulating discussion led by Dr. Livingston.

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