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Every working person in the United States asks the same question, how secure is my job? Job security has cratered as the postwar institutions that insulated us from volatility–big unions, big corporations, powerful regulators–have been swept aside by a fervent belief in “the market.” 


Temp tracks the surprising transformation of an ethos which favored long-term investment in work (and workers) to one promoting short-term returns. 

Through the experiences of those on the inside–consultants and executives, temps and office workers, line workers and migrant laborers–Temp shows how the American Dream was unmade.

Temp explores the history of today's most immediate crisis. Uber and the rest of the gig economy are not the causes of inequality and insecurity in our countrybut they are connected. The story goes deeper than apps, further back than downsizing, and contests the most essential assumptions we have about how our businesses should work.


"A revealing study of the “gig economy,” which, though it seems new, has long antecedents."

"A quietly hopeful spin on an economic process that has proved tremendously dislocating for a generation and more of workers."

Kirkus Reviews

"Thorough, thoughtful, and sympathetic"

"This disquieting history of worker dispensability ... tries to find cause for optimism in the emergence of the “gig economy,” but will still leave salaried employees looking nervously over their shoulders."

Publishers Weekly

"Succeeds as a synthesis of economics, sociology, and history by opting for good storytelling over jargon."


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