The Morally Troubling ‘Dirty Work’ We Pay Others to Do in Our Place

New York Times, Aug.17th, 2021

Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America
By Eyal Press

“Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America,” a disturbing and necessary new book by Eyal Press, describes with great empathy the lives of workers who do jobs that they themselves find morally horrifying. Press acquaints us intimately with the trauma suffered by a participant in a drone strike who watches a child slowly reassemble his father’s exploded remains into human shape; by a worker in a slaughterhouse who is nuzzled affectionately by pigs only to have to kill them moments later; and by a psychologist who is supposed to provide therapy to psychiatric patients in one of the correctional facilities where America often confines the severely mentally ill, but instead witnesses daily brutality including a homicide so gruesome it will be seared in any reader’s memory.

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