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The great American fantasy is about leisure: wooded getaways, Caribbean cruises, white-water rafting, thelights of Las Vegas. Yet one in four Americans does not take a vacation at all. We know how to work hard but not how to play.
What we really need, argues Al Gini, is some time off. The Importance of Being Lazy takes us on family road trips, to Disneyland, on shopping sprees, on extreme sports adventures, and into the ultimate vacation - retirement -- showing why we venerate vacations and why "doing nothing" is a fundamental human necessity.
In a witty, breezy tour of our workaholic society, where the summer at the seashore has been supplanted by the long weekend, Gini draws on studies of Americans' vacation habits as well as interviews, personal stories, and the wry observations of philosophers, writers, and sociologists from Aristotle to Mark Twain to Thorstein Veblen.
Without true leisure, Gini says, we are diminished as individuals and as a society. The Importance of being Lazy is our road map for learning how to play, doze, gaze, amble, and goof-off without guilt.
Prologue: The Project and the Problem 1. The Other Side of Leisure Work, Damn it! 2. Leisure and Culture 3. Vacations and Traveling 4. Mini Vacations The Weekend 5. Shopping as Leisure and Play 6. Sports and Play 7. The Ultimate Vacation Retirement Epilogue: Sabbath as Metaphor
Al Gini is a Philosophy Professor at Loyola University Chicago and a member of Loyola's Institute of Human Resources and Industrial Relations. He is the co-founder and Associate Editor of the journal Business Ethics Quarterly and the author of Why IT's Hard to Be Good(Routledge).
" "'"The Importance of Being Lazy" solidifies Al Gini's reputation as a leading philosopher of contemporary American culture.' "- Ronald M. Green, Ethics Institute, Dartmouth College, USA" 'Finally - a book written around the thesis that "doing nothing" is one of life's necessities!' "- ""Publishers Weekly " 'Gini is so persuasive I kept putting the book down to go play!' "- Chicago Tribune "