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What 'The Jungle' and 'What Do People Do All Day?' Have In Common

Jamie Smith Hopkins

11:00 AM EST, December 10, 2013

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The books are pretty eclectic, from How to Win Friends and Influence People to The Handmaid's Tale to I'm a Frog. What they (and the titles in the headline) have in common -- possibly the only thing -- is that they're all on the U.S. Department of Labor's Books That Shaped Work in America list.

The agency launched the project to celebrate its 100th anniversary, and it's asking for more contributions.

"It would be great if the City That Reads was able to make some recommendations on books that they think need to be included," said Leni Fortson, an agency spokeswoman.

Some of the books already on the list have long been credited with shaping the way we work. The Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act quickly followed Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, for instance. Other influential books on the list include The Feminine Mystique, Nickel and Dimed and The Organization Man.

It might be harder to make a case that Olivia (about an irrepressible little pig), What Do People Do All Day? (a kid's introduction to work) and the other children's books on the list shaped work in the country per se. (Shaping future workers' impressions of work, though -- that I can see.)

What books would you add?

jhopkins@baltsun.com

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