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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (96 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Witold Rybczynski Narrator: Wanda McCaddo Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“We work,” Aristotle wrote, “in order to have leisure.” Today, this is still true. But is the leisure that Aristotle spoke of—the freedom to do nothing—the same as the leisure we look forward to each weekend? 

There have always been breaks from the routine of work—taboo days, market days, public festivals, holy days—we couldn’t survive without them. In Waiting for the Weekend, Witold Rybczynski unfolds the history and evolution of leisure time in Western civilization, from Aristotle, through the Middle Ages, to the present. Along the way, he explores how the psychological needs that leisure time seeks to fulfill have changed as the nature of work has changed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s about freedom, above all the freedom to do nothing, to be aimless, idle, and playful, to get lost in reverie, to consider the lilies...This is at its frequent best an enchanting book, and it can be read in a single weekend.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “An enchanting, strikingly profound meditation on the relationship between leisure and labor.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This witty, readable, well-researched study…is certain to stimulate thinking. Recommended for general collections as well as history, sociology, business, and urban studies.”

    Library Journal

  • “With immense learnedness but an equivalent lightness and grace, Rybczynski…offers a companionable ramble along a winding pathway of cultural history in a quiet and thinking book, a kind of intellectual browse that’s—well, perfect for a leisurely weekend’s reading.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Laura | 9/10/2012

    " The subject was interesting, but the writing style did not grab my attention and hold it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Zguba Salemenska | 12/8/2011

    " A good history of our working/leisure life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Julie H. | 9/29/2011

    " This is a highly enjoyable history of leisure time in western civilization. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by M.L. Rose | 12/15/2010

    " As a society the more we change the more we remain the same. We often forget the meaning of the weekend and take for granted what we have in life without remembering how any of it came about, and how much we as humans like to fool ourselves. "

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About the Author

Witold Rybczynski has written about architecture for the New York Times, Time, Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Slate, and is the author of the award-winning A Clearing in the Distance. He is the recipient of the National Building Museum’s 2007 Vincent Scully Prize. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia, where he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.