LA­BOR GETS LITERARY

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

Rather than re­main a cold bu­reau­cracy be­hind a mar­ble ed­i­fice, fed­eral agen­cies ap­pear anx­ious to get cozy and cud­dly with the pub­lic. Sort of. Case in point: the U.S. Depart­ment of La­bor — which is 100 years old this year — is ask­ing the cit­i­zenry to sug­gest ti­tles of “books that shaped work in Amer­ica” as kind of a na­tional group project.

“Think of this ef­fort as an online book club where peo­ple from all walks of life can share books that in­formed them about oc­cu­pa­tions and ca­reers, molded their views about work and helped el­e­vate the dis­course about work, work­ers and work­places,” de­clares La­bor Sec­re­tary Thomas E. Perez.

He rec­om­mends “To Kill a Mock­ing­bird” by Harper Lee and Richard Scarry’s “Busy, Busy Town” among other ti­tles. The agency has re­cruited no­ta­bles to of­fer in­put as well. Ge­orge Shultz, a for­mer la­bor sec­re­tary him­self, fa­vors “Life on the Mis­sis­sippi” by Mark Twain. Au­thor Daniel Pink prefers “Work­ing” by Studs Terkel and “The Nar­ra­tive Life of Fred­er­ick Dou­glass,” writ­ten by the for­mer slave and abo­li­tion­ist him­self.

It is an in­ter­est­ing ex­er­cise; other ti­tles ap­pear­ing on the ever-ex­pand­ing ros­ter in­clude “Death of a Sales­man” by Arthur Miller; “The Book of Virtues” by Wil­liam Ben­nett and the Fed­er­al­ist Pa­pers, the 1788 clas­sic au­thored by Alexan­der Hamil­ton, John Jay and James Madi­son.

In­deed, that trio knew how to work. Find the out­reach at dol. com/books

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