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How has work shaped human civilisation?
Idle Hands charts a natural and cultural history of work, from the primordial age through the Stone Age and into the digital era. Drawing on field work at the interface between hunter gatherer societies, simple agricultural societies and the industrialised world, and integrating new insights from epigenetics, ethology, genomics, social anthropology, economics and evolutionary theory, it challenges the way we think about work today - and shows why automation may be the key to unlocking a more sustainable future.
James Suzman is an anthropologist specializing in the Khoisan peoples of southern Africa. A recipient of the Smuts Commonwealth Fellowship in African Studies at Cambridge University, he is now the director of Anthropos Ltd, a think tank that applies anthropological methods to solving contemporary social and economic problems. He has written for publications including the New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Independent. He lives in Cambridge.