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Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain


288 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $20.95)

Publication Date: May 2019

ISBN 9781786490162

Rights: US & CA

Atlantic Books, Ltd. (May 2019)
Atlantic Books

Price: $15.95


The shocking inside story of the gig economy, as endorsed by Bernie Sanders

Cracking open the gig economy, journalist James Bloodworth spends six months undercover working the most grueling low-wage jobs. He lives on the meager proceeds and discovers the anxieties and hopes of those he encounters, including working-class men and women, young students striving to make ends meet, and Eastern European immigrants. From a harrowing Amazon warehouse to driving for Uber, Bloodworth uncovers horrifying employment practices and shows how traditional working-class communities have been decimated by the move to soulless service jobs with no security, advancement or satisfaction. But this is more than an exposé of unscrupulous employers; this is a gripping examination of a divided society which needs to understand the true reality of how other people live and work, before it can heal.


"James Bloodworth has done the hellish job of showing what it's like to scrounge a living off gruesome work conditions, callous paymasters, and no job security. He writes with humanity and keen moral insight. Although his setting is Britain, his subject is the post-industrial service economy and what it does to ordinary men and women. Orwell and Sinclair would be proud." -- Michael Weiss, CNN journalist and bestselling author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror  

"A very discomforting book, no matter what your politics might be . . . very good." —Sunday Times

"Grim but necessary reading... Theresa May should horrify [Bloodworth] by picking up a copy of Hired and learning from it." —Spectator

"An extraordinary and unsettling journey into the way modern Britons work. It is Down and Out In Paris and London for the gig economy age." —Matthew d'Ancona, Guardian columnist and author of Post-Truth

"Exceptional . . . Bloodworth is the best young left wing writer Britain has produced in years." —Observer

"Bloodworth's unflinching account of life and work in the towns we have come to know as being "left behind" exposes the mercilessness of the low-wage economy and modern capitalism." —Prospect

"A wake-up call to us all. A very graphic and authentic journey exposing the hard and miserable working life faced by too many people living in Britain today." —Margaret Hodge, MP, former Chair, Public Accounts Committee

Author Biography

James Bloodworth is the former editor of Left Foot Forward, one of the most influential left-wing websites in the UK. He is a fortnightly columnist for the International Business Times and regularly contributes to the Independent, Guardian, New Statesman, and Wall Street Journal. He has 15,000 followers on Twitter.