How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy
A Verso book
The first no-holds-barred exposé of the exploitative world of internships.
Millions of young people—and increasingly some not-so-young people—now work as interns. They famously shuttle coffee in a thousand magazine offices, legislative backrooms, and Hollywood studios, but they also deliver aid in Afghanistan, map the human genome, and pick up garbage. Intern Nation is the first exposé of the exploitative world of internships. In this witty, astonishing, and serious investigative work, Ross Perlin profiles fellow interns, talks to academics and professionals about what unleashed this phenomenon, and explains why the intern boom is perverting workplace practices around the world.
The hardcover publication of this book precipitated a torrent of media coverage in the US and UK, and Perlin has added an entirely new afterword describing the growing focus on this woefully underreported story. Insightful and humorous, Intern Nation will transform the way we think about the culture of work.
- April 2012
- 5.2 × 7.8 in
/ 286 pages
- Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.
Endorsements & Reviews
“‘Interns built the pyramids,’ the great magazine The Baffler once declared. And that was just the beginning of their labours, as Ross Perlin demonstrates in this fascinating and overdue exposé of the wage labour without wages, the CV-building servitude, at the heart of contemporary capitalism.” — Benjamin Kunkel, a founding editor of n+1 and author of the novel Indecision
“Perlin contends that most internships are illegal ... stripping people who are employees in all but name of workers’ rights.” — New Yorker
“A portrait of how white-collar work is changing … thought-provoking and at times jaw-dropping—almost a companion volume to Naomi Klein’s celebrated 2000 exposé of modern sweatshops, No Logo.” — Andy Beckett, Guardian
“This vigorous and persuasive book ... argues that the fundamental issue is the growing contingency of the global workforce.” — Roger D. Hodge, Bookforum
“A book that offers landmark coverage of its topic.” — Andrew Ross, London Review of Books
“Cloaked in the innocent idea of the intern, aggressive employers are using young people trying to get a foothold to weaken the leverage of existing workers, especially professionals. Ross Perlin gives us an account of another subterranean strategy to undermine working people.” — Frances Fox Piven
“A compelling investigation of a trend that threatens to destroy ‘what’s left of the ordered world of training, hard work and fair compensation’ … Full of restrained force and wit, this is a valuable book on a subject that demands attention.” — Observer