It’s true that from 1830s-1990s (i.e., from the height of manufacturing up through the rise of knowledge work), studies show that the average workweek has, for average Americans, gone from around 69 hours to approx. 40 hours. The main point of this piece, however, has little to do with the length of a workweek; it rather has to do with the emergence of an ethos or workview that can be traced back at least to 1800. According to that worldview, work occupies the center of modern culture. It’s, among other things, the centrality of work that I’m drawing into question in this short piece.