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Can't Even
Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation | Anne Helen Petersen
20 posts | 17 read | 17 to read
A BEST BOOK OF THE FALL AS SEEN IN: Apartment Therapy Book Riot Business Insider BuzzFeed Daily Nebraskan Entertainment Weekly Esquire Fortune Harpers Bazaar HelloGiggles LinkedIn O Magazine Time Magazine [A] razor sharp book of cultural criticismWith blistering prose and all-too vivid reporting, Petersen lays bare the burnout and despair of millennials, while also charting a path to a world where members of her generation can feel as if the boot has been removed from their necks. Esquire An analytically precise, deeply empathic book about the psychic toll modern capitalism has taken on those shaped by it. Can't Even is essential to understanding our age, and ourselves."Ezra Klein, Vox co-founder and New York Times bestselling author of Why We're Polarized An incendiary examination of burnout in millennialsthe cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that sustain it, and the need for drastic change Do you feel like your life is an endless to-do list? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram because youre too exhausted to pick up a book? Are you mired in debt, or feel like you work all the time, or feel pressure to take whatever gives you joy and turn it into a monetizable hustle? Welcome to burnout culture. While burnout may seem like the default setting for the modern era, in Cant Even, BuzzFeed culture writer and former academic Anne Helen Petersen argues that burnout is a definitional condition for the millennial generation, born out of distrust in the institutions that have failed us, the unrealistic expectations of the modern workplace, and a sharp uptick in anxiety and hopelessness exacerbated by the constant pressure to perform our lives online. The genesis for the book is Petersens viral BuzzFeed article on the topic, which has amassed over seven million reads since its publication in January 2019. Cant Even goes beyond the original article, as Petersen examines how millennials have arrived at this point of burnout (think: unchecked capitalism and changing labor laws) and examines the phenomenon through a variety of lensesincluding how burnout affects the way we work, parent, and socializedescribing its resonance in alarming familiarity. Utilizing a combination of sociohistorical framework, original interviews, and detailed analysis, Cant Even offers a galvanizing, intimate, and ultimately redemptive look at the lives of this much-maligned generation, and will be required reading for both millennials and the parents and employers trying to understand them.
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review
Emilymdxn
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Pickpick

This didn‘t get the best reviews but I liked it a lot. More journalistic than academic but, like, I don‘t think we were expecting it to be academic? I‘m a younger millennial/gen z and I liked learning about some of the context and causes behind burnout. I really recommend

#scarathlon2022 #teamslaughter @Clwojick +6

ChantalReads I was so distracted by your "Candide". I've never met anyone else who's read it (and I'm an English teacher, so I know a lot of English teachers). Were you as repulsed as I was? 5mo
Emilymdxn @ChantalReads being totally honest I don‘t remember much about it at all! I read it a few years ago and it clearly didn‘t leave much of an impression 5mo
47 likes2 comments
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EchoLogical
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Pickpick

I did it, I reached my Goodreads goal!
This book was depressing yet validating. It‘s good to know that I‘m not a loser for struggling with a broken system. The author covers a plethora of reasons why millennials are burnout: competition, the gig economy, impossible expectations, disintegrating boundaries, and the list goes on. Well done but very dry.

sprainedbrain Congrats on getting your goal! 🎉 1y
Jas16 🙌🏽 1y
Ruthiella Congratulations! 👏👏👏 1y
See All 10 Comments
Mollyanna Woohoo! Congrats. 🥳🥳🥳 1y
wanderinglynn Congrats! 🎉👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Christine Well done! 1y
Liatrek Congrats! 🥳 Always feels good hitting that goal🥳 1y
MaureenMc 👏🎉 1y
Bookzombie Congratulations!! 1y
Suet624 Congrats!! 1y
43 likes1 stack add10 comments
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EchoLogical
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“Millennials became the first generation to fully conceptualize themselves as walking college resumes…we came to understand ourselves, consciously or not, as ‘human capital‘…”

Okay but I hate it here 😭

Amandajoy Man there were some hard truths in this one. 1y
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Amandajoy
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Listening to this today & this chapter had me nodding along the whole time. I‘ve been working for the last almost 10 years to become a dietitian. Next week I start a job as a defense contractor. Being tired of working for little pay while paying back lots of student loans & trying to afford a ton of continuing Ed credits was a big part of the reason I changed jobs. I‘m lucky I had the option. The moral of the chapter was “F passion, pay me.”

Tamra Wish you the best! 2y
34 likes1 comment
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Chelsea.Poole
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I‘ve stopped and started this #nonfiction multiple times; I‘ve found it difficult to concentrate on the subject matter. So glad I finally dedicated time to finishing it this afternoon (on my in-laws‘ porch as it rains). There‘s way too much epicness to fit into this small review, but I think the following quote from the book is pretty perfect: “We shouldn‘t have to choose between excelling in work and thriving as individuals.” Loved it 🌧 🌸

Megabooks Agree with all this! I stopped/started three times but ended up enjoying it. Fairly slow-paced. 2y
Chelsea.Poole @Megabooks 👯‍♀️ agreed. Slow paced but not because it isn‘t very interesting. Just so much to come to terms with. 2y
Megabooks Exactly! 2y
81 likes3 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Breakfast 🥑 🍞 🍓 📖

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Chelsea.Poole
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It‘s finally Friday!! Squeezed in a few pages on the porch between dinner, gardening, and golf cart rides with my boys and my mom. I love warm weather and porch reading! 📖 🌸

Erin.Elizabeth10 This book is so good!! 2y
BarbaraBB It looks wonderful 😍 2y
Tamra Sigh of contentment 2y
Cathythoughts 👍🏻 sounds good. Look forward to your review 2y
84 likes4 comments
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geodynamical_nonfiction
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The precariat.

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geodynamical_nonfiction
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Tbr

3 likes1 stack add
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Chelsea.Poole
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Started this new #nonfiction while on a mini vacation this weekend. Look how cute our hotel is! Also, this book — I‘m kind of loving it already. (Dollar bill for bookmark 😆)

Megabooks Enjoy! But it made me so angry/sad. 2y
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Kaarin
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Fantastic read. This book gave me the framework and vocabulary to discuss things I observed but did not know how to articulate regarding modern work and burnout.

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mrozzz
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“The overarching clarity offered by this pandemic is that it‘s not any single generation that‘s broken, or fucked, or failed. It‘s the system itself.”

A book that me feel so seen... Petersen is an incredible writer and she herself is a millennial and is able to speak to burnout from personal experience while adding on to the testimony of many others, and pointing to stats that exemplify why life‘s so precarious & burnout so prevalent now.

BarbaraBB That quote. So true 💔 2y
mrozzz @BarbaraBB right?? 😔 The whole book is like that. 2y
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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Pickpick

I loved this book! I would encourage every Millennial to read it. It shows that so many prevalent issues are not personal problems, they are societal and systemic problems.

9 likes1 stack add
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8little_paws
Mehso-so

This didn't wholly work for me. I felt unconvinced that this is a particularly millennial issue still, by the end of the book. It suffers from having been written prior to COVID-19, and not updated, it feels wildly out of date in some sections. Part of the main assumption here also relies on millennials being addicted to posting on social media, which I can't get behind.

8little_paws No addressing of Columbine and school shootings, which affected how parents and schools raised children, undoubtedly. In fact I feel the millennial line should be drawn to reflect that and not include those born in the early 80s or late 70s who were either just leaving high school or already out when that shooting happened.

Overall I feel a lot of this is addressed, and addressed better, in other books. How to do Nothing, Burnout.
(edited) 2y
42 likes1 comment
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katcalvin
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Pickpick

Pour yourself a drink and prepare for therapy. I had so many epiphanies while reading this, a must for every millennial.

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tholmz
Pickpick

A great starter book for people who don‘t understand what my generation is up against, though it does read outdated already because of the pandemic. (Also I am quoted in the book!!)

BarbaraBB That is so cool! On what subject? 2y
tholmz @BarbaraBB Thank you!! On careers/student loan debt! 2y
9 likes2 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

Concerted cultivation, being “walking resumes,” pressure to succeed typified the millennial childhood. Kick the can became soccer leagues. They were told college was the key to the middle class instead of debt. This set them up for burnout as adults. Couple that with the instability of the “gig economy,” less full-time work with benefits available, & increased connectivity, many are struggling financially & mentally. A good look at the new normal.

CampbellTaraL Your nonfiction book blurbs and reviews are helping my TBR pile grow into a mountain! 🤭 Today's post resonates so hard. 2y
Megabooks @taraWritesSci I‘m just a little older than an “old millennial,” and a lot of this book resonated with me, too. Glad I can be an enabler! 😂😂 I love nonfiction. It‘s about half of what I read. 👍🏻 I‘m starting this next in print (edited) 2y
CampbellTaraL @Megabooks Me too! Born in 79 makes me an infant X, elder Millennial. We're the definition of the Xennials 😜. And I'll be watching for your updates on Conditional Citizens. 2y
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conorpunchbook Great choices in this pic 2y
Megabooks @conorpunchbook thank you! I‘ve read all but one of the books on this shelf (Recursion, not pictured), and liked them enough to keep them around. (edited) 2y
Reviewsbylola This sounds like it would be almost too much of a gut punch to read, but also like an absolute must read. 2y
Reviewsbylola Also, what are you waiting for?!? Read Recursion!!! 2y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola dude, I walked around pissed for three days while I read it. But it‘s really good. 2y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola I got halfway through recursion, put it down like a year ago, and just haven‘t picked it up 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen this is the book I mentioned in the email I just sent you! 💕 2y
Cinfhen Thanks!! I‘m not sure if this book would cause me to explode or offer me comfort!?!! 2y
Cinfhen And I didn‘t care for Recursion either xxxx 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen probably a little of both. I think that‘s been the consensus of readers on litsy! I did eventually finish recursion as an audiobook from the library. It was just okay. The ending was pretty good. 2y
Cinfhen I‘ll look for this when my blood pressure returns to normal xxx 2y
Cinfhen Sent you another long email xx 2y
91 likes3 stack adds15 comments
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Lauren.Archer
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Pickpick

An interesting read about the millennial culture, written by a millennial. Worth the read.

http://obsessedbookaholic.com/2020/09/23/cant-even-how-millennials-became-the-bu...

52 likes2 stack adds