I am slightly puzzled at the effort to spend Federal taxpayer money to put together the list and the website for Books That Shaped Work in America by the U.S. Department of Labor to celebrate its centennial. Included is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Are they serious? But where’s Karl Marx’s Das Kapital or Communist Manifesto? Or Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals? Or Curious George Rides a Bike?
Of course, if you are annoyed by this and want to put government DOL workers to work promoting books you think should be on the list, you are invited to do so right here. You are asked to give a “brief description of why you think the book shaped work in America or influenced the work you do.” This could get pretty broad quickly–How about Physician’s Desk Reference? Or various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? Both have surely influenced workplace practices, insurance claims, disabilities, treatments, and so on. Or Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual? But The Handmaid’s Tale? Should I nominate Friedrick Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom?