Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen


BEST BOOK OF THE FALL AS SEEN IN: Apartment Therapy • Book Riot • Business Insider • BuzzFeed • Daily Nebraskan • Entertainment Weekly • Esquire • Fortune • Harper’s Bazaar • HelloGiggles • LinkedIn • O Magazine • Time Magazine“[A] razor sharp ebook of cultural criticism…With blistering prose and all-too vivid reporting, Petersen lays naked the burnout and depression of millennials, whilst also charting a route to a international where individuals of her era can feel as if the boot has been removed from their necks.” —Esquire“An analytically precise, deeply empathic book approximately the psychic toll present day capitalism has taken on the ones shaped by means of it. Can't Even is important to information our age, and ourselves."—Ezra Klein, Vox co-founder and New York Times bestselling creator of Why We're Polarized An incendiary examination of burnout in millennials—the cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that preserve it, and the need for drastic trade Do you sense like your life is an endless to-do list? Do you locate your self mindlessly scrolling via Instagram because you’re too exhausted to pick out up a e-book? Are you mired in debt, or sense like you work all of the time, or sense pressure to take whatever gives you joy and turn it into a monetizable hustle? Welcome to burnout culture. While burnout may appear to be the default placing for the current era, in Can’t Even, BuzzFeed culture author and previous academic Anne Helen Petersen argues that burnout is a definitional condition for the millennial technology, born out of distrust in the establishments that have failed us, the unrealistic expectations of the modern workplace, and a pointy uptick in tension and hopelessness exacerbated by using the steady strain to “perform” our lives online. The genesis for the book is Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed article on the topic, which has accrued over seven million reads considering that its e-book in January 2019.Can’t Even is going beyond the authentic article, as Petersen examines how millennials have arrived at this factor of burnout (think: unchecked capitalism and converting hard work laws) and examines the phenomenon through a lot of lenses—including how burnout affects the way we work, parent, and socialize—describing its resonance in alarming familiarity. Utilizing a combination of sociohistorical framework, authentic interviews, and unique analysis, Can’t Even offers a galvanizing, intimate, and in the end redemptive observe the lives of this much-maligned technology, and may be required reading for each millennials and the mother and father and employers attempting to understand them.


It is my honest desire that millennials will study Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, Anne Helen Petersen’s new e book about the expert zeitgeist—that is, if they’re not too burned out to do so.

In 9 well-researched chapters, Can’t Even feistily fleshes out Petersen’s viral 2019 BuzzFeed article about millennial burnout. Interviews with a numerous array of millennials and deep analyses of labor history, class and sociology illustrate simply how awful existence has gotten for lots participants of this age group. What changed into called “workaholism” in the Eighties is called “hustle” in the 2020s—and in case you can’t hack it, that’s on you. The end result for too many Americans is insurmountable student debt, an erosion of task security, the upward push of the gig economy, the fetishization of freelance work, an absence of enjoyment time and a trend toward “competitive martyrdom” in parenting.

Woven for the duration of Can’t Even is a pointy critique of boomer parents and employers. White, middle-magnificence boomers mainly inculcated excessive expectancies for the future in their youngsters while tearing down the protection net underneath them. Petersen drives home the factor that our modern problems are not personal but societal—and yet, while a millennial can not afford medical health insurance or a down charge on a house, it’s judged as laziness. No wonder so many people enjoy existence as steady busyness and feel guilt for relaxing. “Burnout . . . Is more than simply an dependancy to work,” she writes. “It’s an alienation from the self, and from desire. If you subtract your potential to work, who're you?”

However, readers don’t want to be in my view burnt out for Can’t Even to resonate. If social media or the gig economy contact your lifestyles in any way, there’s something to bite on here. Fortunately, Petersen doesn’t provide any “hacks” or “tips” to pare back our busy lives. Instead, she advocates for societal self-reflection and an evaluation of our values to spur change: Do we really need to live this way?


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