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Head of Zeus
Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and their Hidden Toll of Inequality by Eyal Press

A compelling and confronting investigation into the phenomenon of dirty work – labour that society considers essential, but morally compromised

Guards who patrol the wards of America's most violent and abusive prisons. Undocumented immigrants who man the 'kill floors' of industrial slaughterhouses. Roustabouts who drill for oil on offshore rigs.

These are the essential workers we prefer not to think about. Their morally dubious, often physically violent and dangerous activity sustains modern society yet is concealed from our gaze. It is work that falls disproportionately in deprived areas, on immigrants and people of colour, and entails a less familiar set of occupational hazards – stigma, shame and moral injury.

Reporting from a hidden America, Eyal Press gathers a powerful set of testimonies from people doing society's dirty work and, in doing so, reveals fundamental truths about the moral dimensions of employment and the hidden costs of inequality. Striking, sophisticated and nuanced, Dirty Work will change the way you think about the ethics of work.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Current Affairs
06 Jan 2022 * 320pp * £9.99 * 9781801107259

'A fascinating study in the better angels of our nature' George Packer, New Yorker.

'Moral dilemmas of this kind tend to have a black-and-white clarity. Working from life, Mr. Press brings out the greys ... Rich in personal, circumstantial details that analytical thinkers may overlook' Economist.

'Evocative ... A valentine to the human spirit'
 Wall Street Journal

Eyal Press

Eyal Press
Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the London Review of Books and the Nation, and his previous books include Beautiful Souls and Absolute Convictions. Press is a recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, an Andrew Carnegie fellowship, and a Cullman Centre fellowship at the New York Public Library.