Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Mar 11, 2014 - Social Science - 368 pages
12 Reviews
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Can working parents in America—or anywhere—ever find true leisure time?

According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is "that place in which we realize our humanity." If that's true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but "contaminated time."

Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine: "How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure—over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research—anything we could do?"

A New York Times bestseller, Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - arosoff - LibraryThing

I've read or have seen several books in the same vein (women, work life balance, parenting), so Schulte is trodding popular territory here. They've all come out at around the same time, though, so I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - barrettlucero - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this book and found it eye opening and applicable to my life. I think it has some blind spots about socio-economic class and work/play, but overall I found it very satisfying, and maybe even life changing. Well-researched and well written. Read full review

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About the author (2014)

Brigid Schulte is an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post and The Washington Post Magazine, and was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. She is also a fellow at the New America Foundation. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and their two children.

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