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Read This: Cubed

A secret history of the workplace

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

April 17, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Say it’s been a long day at work. What does that mean at your job? Does it include co-worker hijinks à la The Office? A buzzed boardroom full of scandal? Dilbert’s incompetent management?

No matter what kind of workspace you happen to inhabit, each one has a story. From the Crachit-esque clerk’s desks of Dickensian England to the towering offices that dominate today’s skylines, Nikil Saval’s Cubed spans the history of the white-collar workplace.

Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

Author: Nikil Saval
Released: April 22

The nonfiction book isn’t about the quirky characters of some imagined work space. The office is the story. Using examples from television, literature and history, Saval creates a witty overview to examine the past, present and future of the work environment.

Why, one might ask, should a person about where they spend their days? The answer: You might learn something new about the place that is, for better or for worse, home away from home.

Cubed is more than a retrospective of the typical American workplace. It looks at the politics within office culture; for example, the lack of walls in an office space symbolizes a worker’s status.

For anyone who has wondered how “that guy” got the job or why those cubicles are always so darn generic, Saval might just have the answers.

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