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"Dirty Work" By Eyal Press (Part I)

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Note: this is the first half of a two-part interview.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn unprecedented attention to essential workers, and to the health and safety risks inherent in jobs like: drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations, undocumented immigrants who man the “kill floors” of industrial slaughterhouses, and guards who patrol the wards of the United States’ most violent and abusive prisons. In Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America, Eyal Press offers a paradigm-shifting view of the moral landscape of contemporary America through the stories of people who perform society’s most ethically troubling jobs. As Press shows, we are increasingly shielded and distanced from an array of morally questionable activities that other, less privileged people perform in our name.

Eyal Press is a writer and journalist who contributes to The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications. His other books include Absolute Convictions, and Beautiful Souls. The winner of a number of honors and awards, including a Andrew Carnegie fellowship, Press holds a PhD in sociology from New York University.